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GOVERNOR'S CHALLENGE FINALISTS!
November 29, 2017

The Governor's Challenge is a competition for undergraduate university students that, by putting students in the role of advisor to the Bank of Canada's governing council, promotes understanding of the role of monetary policy in Canada's economy. Having analyzed economic developments, the team must form a forecast and make recommendations on whether to adjust the key interest rate. This year has seen more than 100 students from 25 Canadian universities entering the competition.

Our team – the top five students from the new course ECO466 "Empirical Macroenomics and Policy" – has been selected, following a presentation made via video conferencing, to participate in the final. That takes place at the Bank of Canada's headquarters in Ottawa on February 10, 2018. Only five teams are selected for the national final – this is the third year of the challenge and the third time U of T has been in the final. So we are firmly of the mind that this opportunity will be third time lucky!

Our talented students, all in their fourth year:
  • Tacye Hong – Financial Economics Specialist
  • Vibhu Kapoor – Economics Specialist and Statistics Minor
  • Anthony Piruzza – Financial Economics Specialist
  • Matthew Schwartzman – Economics Specialist and Mathematics Major
  • Stephen Tino – Financial Economics Specialist

Previously, preparation for the competition was purely an extracurricular activity for our students. The new ECO466 course puts the Governor's Challenge front and centre; in addition to individual tasks, students are divided into groups and work towards a Group Report, and at the conclusion of the course, five students from the top two groups are selected to participate in the challenge. Course instructors (and team coaches!) are Professors Michelle Alexopoulos and Martin Burda, supported by TA Paul Han (who was himself a team member last year).

 

With a little trepidation, four of the team members receive a call from the
Bank of Canada about the team's first-round performance

L-R: Anthony Piruzza, Tacye Hong, Matthew Schwartzman, Vibhu Kapoor
 
 
The moment of truth
 
 
Taking a pause before the next steps
L-R: Vibhu Kapoor, Matthew Schwartzman, Tacye Hong, Anthony Piruzza, TA Paul Han, Professor Martin Burda
(not pictured: team member Stephen Tino and Professor Michelle Alexopoulos)