Last year's winner, Mathilde Muñoz, said: “I would encourage all young economists to take part in this competition. It's incredibly useful to connect one's research with people responsible for implementing trade policy and to delve into the current problems in world trade and what the negotiations are all about.”


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 award ceremony will take place on 14-16 September 2023 at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. The winning author will receive funding to attend the meeting.


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

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


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 PhD degree and, if over 30 years of age, be no more than two years past a PhD 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.

More news on the WTO Essay Award is available here.

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 winning essay may be published in the WTO Working Paper Series. 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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