Fiscal Policy Challenge : The Potential of Innovation.

2023 Challenge

2023 Challenge

The Potential of Innovation

CIRANO is launching the 2023 Fiscal Policy Challenge !

The Quebec government's budgetary policy is of paramount importance for Quebec's economic development. On the one hand, the budgetary policy implements the government's various policies in various fields of intervention, and on the other hand, it aims to ensure sound management of public finances in order to maintain future financing of the various government missions and to promote equity between generations. However, it is imperative to implement processes to ensure a succession of expertise in public finance, public policy and fiscal policy in Québec.

It is in this context that CIRANO, in collaboration with the Quebec Ministry of Finance, is proposing an academic competition aimed at finding innovative and rigorous solutions to current public policy issues.

Key dates

Opening date of competition : November 1st 2022

Registration and submission deadline of the essay: March 31, 2023

Disciplines concerned

The competition is open to university undergraduate students (with 30 or more credits) and master's students in economics, political science, taxation or any other related field.

Eligibility, Rules and Evaluation


Status in Canada :

Contest winners receive a prize that is considered remuneration under the Income Tax Act. 

Hence, participants must meet one of the following conditions:

  • hold a non-restrictive work permit;
  • be a permanent resident;
  • be a Canadian citizen.

Education :

The competition is open to full-time bachelor's students (with 30 credits or more) and full-time master's students in economics or other related fields (finance, taxation, political science). Proof of university enrollment will be required at registration.

Only texts from students who have registered and who meet the eligibility criteria will be sent to the evaluation committee.



Composition of the essay

The Challenge consists in writing an essay with the following guidelines:

  • Participants must register ;
  • The competition is individual ;
  • Participants must produce a 1,500 to 2,000-words essay in either English or French ;
  • The essay must contain at least one table or graph to support their argument ;
  • The essay must include a bibliography ;
  • The table(s), graph(s), and bibliography should not be calculated in the number of words to be included in the essay ;
  • The essay must be sent to the address below in Word and PDF format.

Registration and submission of your essay

The following proof will be required:

  • Proof of college enrollment

The following information must be included:

  • Name
  • University
  • Program
  • Number of credits completed

Registration and submission of the essay are mandatory and have to be done at the same time, in one single step in the registration tab.

Please, submit your essay in Word AND Pdf format and  name your file as follows: 2023DEFI_LASTNAME_Firstname

Applications that do not meet the eligibility requirements or are not submitted within the competition deadline will be considered ineligible.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at the following address:



The evaluation of the essay will be made based on the following criteria:

  • Must observe the rules
  • Clarity of discussion
  • Originality of the economic analysis
  • Quality of the economic analysis
  • Use and presentation of economic data
  • Relevance and use of references
  • Presentation and quality of language


Theme of the 2023 Challenge

The question of the year 

Several sectors of activity are being challenged by the economic changes that are taking place. Innovation offers a unique opportunity to increase the productivity of the Quebec economy.

How can innovation contribute to meeting Quebec's major societal challenges?

Here are some of the factors that could potentially be impacted:

  • business performance and productivity
  • supply chains stability
  • quality of life and well-being
  • social benevolence and equality;
  • energy transition;
  • labor shortages.

Evaluation criterias

Contest Prizes

$4000 in prizes

1st prize of $1800

2nd prize of $1400

3rd prize of $800

Presentation to senior officials

The winners will present their thoughts to a team of senior officials from the Quebec Ministry of Finance.

Paid internship

The winners will have the opportunity to complete a paid internship at the Quebec Ministry of Finance.