HSE-Perm Students Participated in World Econometrics Championship
On April 11-13 the world econometrics championship, ‘Econometric Game 2018’ took place in Amsterdam. HSE-Perm was represented by undergraduate and Master’s students.
In total, 30 teams were selected to participate. Students from 22 countries met in Amsterdam representing universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Toulouse School of Economics and the University of Toronto.
This year, Russian universities sent two teams to the competition from the New Economic School and from the Higher School of Economics. The HSE team included four students from HSE-Perm: Alina Ozhegova, a 2nd year Master’s student in Marketing, Sofia Paklina, a 2nd year Master’s student in Finance and Anastasia Gordienko and Darya Teterina, 4th year undergraduate students in Economics.
HSE-Perm’s team members shared their impressions of the event:
Preparing for ‘Econometric Game’
Once a week, we gathered to discuss the solutions of the previous years’ winners and solve cases ourselves using available data. After the meetings, one of us would prepare additional material with a description of econometric methods and made a list of useful sources of additional information.
The topic of this year’s competition was then announced – ‘Happiness economics’. We paid special attention to this topic at our recent meetings: we discussed articles in that field of study and thought about fundamental research questions, types of data and applicable models. We also had time to work with the open data base ‘European Social Survey’ (ESS), which is a popular data base in the field of happiness economics.
We were confident that we had prepared well, because we were familiar with the data format and areas of fundamental research in this field.
About the Task Itself
The whole idea of ‘Happiness Economics’ was the correlation between happiness and unemployment. Participants initially had to determine the most significant determinants of a person’s happiness and define what influences the subjective well-being of an individual more: the fact that a person is unemployed or unemployment of adjacent social groups (family, friends, neighbours, region, country, etc.).
We were also asked to discuss the cause-and-effect relationship between personal satisfaction and unemployment: is it our job that makes us happy, or are happy people more likely to find a job?
The first part of the competition lasted 2 days. All participants were provided with data from several waves of the European Value Survey and relevant research articles on which solutions were based. On the first day, we studied the mass data provided and prepared a literature review and defined our methodology. At the end of the second day, we had put together a report with the case solution, and 10 finalists were then announced. They received a new task for the third day of the event, which required that they build a structural model of correlation between unemployment, level of trust and level of happiness of an individual.
An Interesting Challenge
We managed to put together a comprehensive and high-quality solution to the problem. As soon as we received the task, we made a plan and shared the tasks out between us. This enabled us to focus on details and to work on the case with maximum efficiency. Some of our ideas were reflected in the answers of the finalists, and it was very pleasant to see that we thought along the same lines as students of Harvard, Tilburg and Erasmus! It was certainly difficult – the competition was at an international level, and we could feel it.
What We Got out of It
The main thing we got out of our participation was knowledge of econometrics. Both during preparation and during the competition, we learned a lot. Secondly, it was a new experience of team work: there was limited time to solve the case and this meant that our team had to work together. Thirdly, thanks to ’Econometric Game‘, we met talented people from all over the globe, we learnt more about Master’s and PhD programmes offered at foreign universities and we also learnt some lifehacks, such as what we should think about when applying for the world’s best universities.
We realized that anything is possible! A couple of years ago we would hardly have imagined ourselves competing with students from Oxford or the University of Amsterdam. HSE gives its students a lot of opportunities- the only thing we need to do is to show initiative and be proactive!
Besides, we would like to thank the HSE endowment fund for supporting our participation as the financial guarantor of the trip.