• - June 2, 2023
  • Partially Funded
  • United Kingdom

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible.

The WTO established the annual WTO Essay Award for Young Economists in 2009. The award, which carries a prize of CHF 5,000, aims to promote high-quality economic research on the WTO and WTO-related issues and to reinforce the relationship between the WTO and the academic community.

An Academic Selection Panel is responsible for the selection of the winning paper. The panel comprises:

  • Professor Beata Javorcik (University of Oxford).
  • Professor Robert Staiger (Dartmouth College).
  • Professor Alberto Trejos (INCAE Business School).

Professor Ralph Ossa (Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO Secretariat) is an ex officio member of the panel. Dr. Roberta Piermartini (Chief, Trade Cost Analysis Section, WTO) coordinates the work of the selection panel.

The winning essay may be published in the WTO Working Paper Series. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to endeavor to secure publication of the contribution in a journal.

Past winners
2022: Mathilde Muñoz (James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Wealth and Income Inequality, University of California, Berkeley)
2021: Tomas Dominguez-Iino (New York University) and Swapnika Rachapalli (University of Toronto)
2020: Xian Ding (Harvard University)
2019: Jan Bakker (Oxford University) and Federico Huneeus (Princeton University)
2018: Alonso de Gortari (Harvard University)
2017: Meredith Startz (Princeton University)
2016: Matthieu Bellon (Columbia University)
2015: Christoph Boehm (University of Michigan), Aaron Flaaen (Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington D.C.), and Nitya Pandalai-Nayar (University of Michigan)
2014: Jonathan Dingel (Columbia University) and Claudia Steinwender (LSE)
2013: Felix Tintelnot (Princeton University)
2012: Treb Allen (Yale University)
2011: Rafael Dix-Carneiro (University of Maryland) and Kyle Handley (Stanford University)
2010: Dave Donaldson (MIT) and Olena Ivus (Queen’s University)
2009: Ralph Ossa (University of Chicago). The runner-up was Mostafa Beshkar (University of New Hampshire)

Essays must be submitted by 2 June 2023. The Economic Research and Statistics Division of the WTO Secretariat will shortlist eligible papers by 16 June 2023 and the selection panel will take a final decision by 7 July 2023. Only the author(s) of short-listed essays will be notified.




  • The annual WTO Essay Award provides a prize of CHF 5,000 to the author(s) of the winning essay.
  • In the case of a co-authored paper, the prize will be equally divided among the authors.
  • The winning paper will be officially announced at the annual meeting of the European Trade Study Group (ETSG), the largest conference specializing in international trade.
  • The winning author will receive funding to attend the meeting.


  • The paper must address issues related to trade policy and international trade cooperation.
  • The author(s) of the paper must possess or be engaged in the completion of a Ph.D. degree and, if over 30 years of age, be no more than two years past a Ph.D. defense.
  • In the case of co-authored papers, this requirement shall apply to all authors.
  • In addition, to be considered for the Award, essays cannot exceed 15,000 words.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

All submissions should be sent to [email protected]. Submissions should include as separate attachments in PDF format:

  • The essay
  • The CV of the author(s), specifying (i) current affiliation(s), (ii) the academic institution awarding the Ph.D., (iii) the year (or the expected year) of the Ph.D., (iv) the date of birth of the author(s).

Application Deadline: June 2, 2023

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

Visit the official website for further queries.
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