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College Monetary Policy Challenge Team Win Second

August 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Despite being the ‘wild card’ entry for Auckland, the College MPC (Monetary Policy Challenge) team comprising Kandarp Dalal, Louis Christie, Djon Pye, Alexis Carlier and Aditya Arolkar talked their way into second place at the national competition held in Wellington.

From a field of 70 schools nationally, six were invited to compete in Wellington. The team had placed second in the Auckland competition but were pleased to be offered the chance to compete at national level.

The competition is designed to expand secondary school economics students' understanding of monetary policy, and its links to NCEA achievement standards. Just like economists working in the Reserve Bank, each team analyses the economic conditions facing New Zealand and the outlook for inflation. On the basis of that analysis, they decide on an appropriate setting for the Official Cash Rate (the Reserve Bank’s interest rate). Each team provides the reasons for their decision in a written submission and, if selected as a regional or national finalist, an oral presentation.

The national final took place at the Reserve Bank in Wellington and was strongly contested. The judges were Assistant Governor John McDermott and two Bank economists, Geordie Reid and Nick Sander.  Westlake Boys High School, the Auckland winners, retained their lead in Wellington with Saint Kentigern in second place and Christchurch Girls’ High School in third. The other competitors in the national final were Hutt Valley High (Wellington), Waitaki Girls’ High (Oamaru) and Tauranga Boys’ College.

The judges said that all the presentations were excellent, using appropriate frameworks to provide sound justifications for each team’s individual decision.

‘All the schools coped extremely well with some very challenging questions and their teamwork was first rate. It was really great to see how much effort teams had put into the competition, and their breadth of knowledge about economic principles and the role of the Reserve Bank,’ Dr McDermott said.

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