Economics students compete in College Fed Challenge

Fed Challenge student participants

Economics students from the Walker College of Business recently competed in the 2015-16 Fed Challenge, a competition that encourages students to learn about the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking and the role of the Federal Reserve System. The challenge is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and is open to undergraduate students studying finance and economics.

Appalachian Federal Reserve Challenge competitors pictured with faculty advisor Onur Ince, third from right, Matthew Drake, Victoria Cole, Benjamin Sullivan, Jabari Myles and Edward Hulseman.

The Appalachian team members were economic students Matthew Drake, Victoria Cole, Benjamin Sullivan, Jabari Myles and Edward Hulseman. The students were accompanied to the event by Professor of Economics Onur Ince, who served as faculty advisor to the team.

During the competition, the students analyzed economic and financial conditions and formulated a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee. Each them then gave a 15-minute presentation and answered questions from a panel of judges.

This year's challenge was centered on suggestions for what the Federal Reserve Bank should do regarding the best monetary policy given the current situation in the economy. Appalachian's team suggested increasing the interest rate (Federal funds rate) by 25 basis points after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in December 2015, given the economy continues on its current path. The team also thought it wise to decrease the excess reserves gradually, while also decreasing the size of the balance sheet in the long run.

"The students performed well," said Ince. "They competed against students from UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, UNC Wilmington, Elon, Clemson, Wake Forest, Lenoir-Rhyne, Elon, NC A&T State, Winston Salem State, and Charleston Southern University."

Teams were judged on economic analysis, responses to judges' questions, teamwork and presentation.

UNC Chapel Hill placed first, advancing to participate in a semi-final competition round at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The semi-final competition winner moves on to compete in the finalist competition at the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

Fed Challenge student participants
Published: Nov 17, 2015 8:39am