Fiscal Policy Challenge : The economic lessons of the pandemic

2020-2021 Challenge

2020-2021 Challenge

The economic lessons of the pandemic

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 a university competition aimed at responding to fiscal policy issues: The Fiscal Policy Challenge.

Key dates

Registration deadline: March 29, 2021

Deadline for submission of the essay: March 29, 2021

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 requirements

Status in Canada :

Contest winners receive a prize that is considered remuneration under the Income Tax Act, the 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). A proof of  university enrollment will be required for winners;

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

Theme and rules for the 2020-2021 Challenge

Le thème du Défi 2020-2021

The economic lessons of the pandemic


The Challenge consists of writing an essay on the theme indicated below with the following guidelines:

  • The competition is individual;
  • Participants must register ;
  • Participants must produce a 1,500 to 2,000 word 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.

This year's theme:

The global economy has been in shock since March 2020. Quebec's economy has not been spared, many industries have been put on hold and what's to come remains uncertain.

In your opinion, 

a) What economic lessons can be learned from this first year of pandemic?

b) How do you see Quebec's economy in the coming years?

Submitting the essay

You must use the email address you entered during registration.

Indicate in the subject line of your email : 2020-2021 Challenge

Attach your documents WORD and PDF to the email.

Send your email to

You must meet the deadline for submission of the trial as stated in the "Description and objectives" section or the trial will not be eligible.

Evaluation criterias

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

Prizes to contest winners

$3000 in prizes

1st prize of $1500

2nd prize of $1000

3rd prize of $500

Présentation devant de hauts fonctionnaires

Les gagnants présenteront le fruit de leur réflexion devant une équipe de hauts fonctionnaires du ministère des Finances du Québec.

Stage rémunéré

Les gagnants auront la possibilité d'effectuer un stage rémunéré au ministère des Finances du Québec.