The annual WTO Essay Award consists of 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), which is currently the largest conference specializing in international trade. The award ceremony will take place in September 2012 in Leuven, Belgium. The winning author(s) will receive funding to attend the meeting.



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

Dr Patrick Low (Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO Secretariat) is ex officio Member of the Panel. Dr Michele Ruta (Counsellor, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO) coordinates the work of the Selection Panel.



The paper must address issues related to trade policy and international trade co-operation.  The author(s) of the paper must possess or be engaged in the completion of a PhD degree and, if over 30 years of age, be no more than two years past a PhD defence. 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.


Past winners

  • The 2011 WTO Prize was awarded to Rafael Dix-Carneiro (University of Maryland) and Kyle Handley (Stanford University). 
  • The 2010 WTO Prize was awarded to Dave Donaldson (MIT) and Olena Ivus (Queen’s University). 
  • The 2009 WTO Prize was awarded to Ralph Ossa (University of Chicago). The runner-up was Mostafa Beshkar (University of New Hampshire). 


Important deadlines

Essays must be submitted by 1 June 2012. The Economic Research and Statistics Division of the WTO Secretariat will shortlist eligible papers by 15 June 2012 and the Selection Panel will take a final decision by 15 July 2012. Only the author(s) of short-listed essays will be notified.



The winning essay will be published in the WTO Working Paper Series and it is the responsibility of the author(s) to endeavour to secure publication of the contribution in a journal.



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

1. the essay
2. the CV of the author(s), specifying (i) current affiliation(s), (ii) the academic institution awarding the PhD, (iii) the year (or the expected year) of the PhD, (iv) the date of birth of the author(s).

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