Annual Student Economic Reform Launch

Honey Morris covers the launch annual of the Student Economic Reform journal

On March 26, the GMB was filled with great minds of the economic field to celebrate the annual launch of the Student Economic Review (SER). However, this event was set in motion long before the day itself.

Founded in 1987, the SER is one of the oldest student journals in the world. The pages are filled with student economic essays covering a range of topics. This year, the categories spanned from essays on the effects of lockdown on job searches to the impact of the 2010 World cup. For a student’s essay to be published in the SER, they must submit their paper to the appointed board of the SER. From there, the board members sort through and hand select each essay in the journal.

The selection process is a rigorous one. The board (made up of students who study economics) is appointed by professors in Trinity’s economics department. In total there are eight students who manage the production and launch of the journal:

Former General Manager: Caoimhe Lawlor McEnroe

General Manager: Grace Kirwan

Editor: Saloni Khosla

Copy Editor: Mark Heanue

Workshop Editor: Conal Gillespie

Production Manager: Magnus Marchand

Launch Manager: Patricia Findlay

Debates Manager: Grace Kirwan

Finance Manager: Victoria Cosgrove

Along with the student board, there were several honorary guests present at the 2024 launch such as; Philip Lane, a former editor of the SER; Felicia Odamtten who is the founder of the The Black Economists Network (TBEN); and Margaret Doyle who is the UK’s Chief Insights Officer. To begin the night, launch manager Findlay took the stand and welcomed everyone to the launch and thanked all in attendance, adding: “We had a brilliant time working on the journal.” This enthusiasm could be seen in every committee member as the night progressed.

Following Findlay, Kirwan continued to congratulate all the authors in the review: “The competition was very strong and I hope you are all very proud.”

Kirwan took the time to highlight that the SER “extends far beyond the pages”; she went on to share that through the SER, there have been two debates hosted in collaboration with the Hist and the Phil, along with workshops and panel discussions. Kirwan concluded her speech by telling the audience: “I hope the launch encourages you to think about the future of economics, and what you as individuals can do as well.”

With that, Odamtten was invited to share a few words surrounding the creation of The Black Economists Network and her personal experience as an economist. She shared that she had always had an interest in economics: “Growing up, there weren’t people in the field that looked like me or came from a background like mine.” With this experience, she created TBEN. Odamtten elaborates that “modern economics isn’t equipped to handle diverse issues”, which is where TBEN comes into play. Not only is it a place of diversity, it is a network capable of handling diverse problems.

Following Odamtten, Khosla took the stand. She began by thanking the audience and made a point to express her appreciation to the economics department of Trinity. Then, speaking to the writers she said: “Your research serves as a reminder that economics is about asking the big questions.” She followed that “while it may be a small book, it took many many months of work”. Khosla reflected on her experience with the team and the editing process, in which she pointed out that they “very rarely felt the need to make major edits”, which reflects on the high quality of work produced by students.

Lane addressed the room next. He began by congratulating the committee for their hard work and for their position on the board. For the remainder of his speech, he shared insight on the inner workings of economics such as the role economics plays in policy making. When looking at economics there are three main sectors, he explained: “Academia, policy, and business.”

He followed by telling the students in the audience that in economics they can “make a difference from day one”

Between each speech, Doyle expertly guided the conversation. As the event came to a close, the committee handed out three honourable awards:

  1. Best Fresh Essay: Deciphering China’s Housing Crisis: The Sustainability of Growth Under Extractive Institutions, Yiyue Xiao
  2. Best Applied Economics Essay, The John O’Hagan Medal: Cutting Ties: How Did Lockdown Policies Affect Social Network Based Job Search? Evidence From the UK Labour Force Survey, Evan Carron-Kee
  3. Best Overall Essay, Dermot Mcaleese Medal: Why Do We Often Observe Political Resistance To Free-Trade Policies? David Congrave

Following the medals a small Q&A was held where Odamtten and Lane were able to answer questions prompted by Doyle.

Provost Linda Doyle spoke to the room and once again congratulated all those who worked and were published in the journal.

When sitting down with Kirwan and Findlay before the launch, they shared how much work had truly gone into preparing for the event. Not only were they creating a publication, they were organising an event following a long standing tradition. Findlay confirmed that the committee was honoured to be selected for the process and excited for the night to come.

After the launch, it is easy to see how their hard work on creating another excellent Student Economic Review paid off