Latvijas Banka organises the Competition already for the 16th time. Participation is open to the citizens and non-citizens of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as well as foreigners who at the time of the Competition are registered as students of higher education institutions accredited as such in the Baltic States, enrolled in Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, and it is also open to the citizens of the Baltic States studying abroad. Thus, for the first time we also invite the students of Lithuania and Estonia to participate in the Competition. This will increase the competition and, hopefully, will result in interesting papers with added value for society.

25 topics (a full list of topics is available on the website macroeconomics.lv), including Monetary policy transmission of the Eurosystem in the Baltic States; Levels of public debt and economic growth; Ageing of population and its impact on the sustainability of the pension system in the Baltic States; Assessment of the effectiveness of the use of the European Union structural funds and foreign direct investment for the Baltic States, etc., are proposed for the Competition.

Papers addressing other crucial topics on the economy of the Baltic States and the euro area in relation to monetary policy may also be submitted for the Competition.

Another novelty of this year's Competition is a special award named after the prominent Latvian economist Juris Vīksniņš. The award will be presented for the best Competition paper which will integrate the scientific methods in the field of economics and history providing an innovative view on one of the stages of economic development in Latvia, the Baltic States or Europe, or an economic idea in a historical context.

The Competition papers shall be submitted to Latvijas Banka from 18 May to 1 June 2018. The Competition papers will be evaluated by a committee specifically set up by Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, the Governor of Latvijas Banka. The papers winning awards will be published on the website macroeconomics.lv and their authors will receive money awards (including EUR 2 000 to the first-place winner and EUR 1 422.87 to the winner of Juris Vīksniņš Award).

12 papers were submitted for the Competition of Student Scientific Research Papers organised for the academic year 2016/2017. The authors of the papers were 18 students from five Latvia's higher education institutions. No first prize was awarded in the Competition, but two second prizes were awarded to Corina Boblic and Ecaterina Vidrascu for their paper "Population age structure in the EU-28: Implications for Gross Domestic Savings and Current Account" and to Oļegs Matvejevs for his paper "Impact of ECB Unconventional Measures on Monetary Policy Stance".

The Regulation for the Competition, the papers of the previous prize-winners and other materials are available in the section "For Students" on the website macroeconomics.lv.

Latvijas Banka is the central bank of Latvia an independent institution and a member of the Eurosystem. The primary objective of Latvijas Banka is the same as that of the central banks of other euro area countries and the European Central Bank: price stability (inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term). This is an essential precondition for a strong and growth-oriented economy. To achieve that, Latvijas Banka participates in the formulation of the Eurosystem's monetary policy, related decision-making and implementation.

Furthermore, acting in the public and economic interests, Latvijas Banka carries out the following main tasks within the Eurosystem:
manages foreign reserves;
issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
promotes smooth operation of the payment systems;
compiles financial and monetary statistics, as well as balance of payments statistics;
maintains and develops the Credit Register.

Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka raise public awareness of the development of the economy and the monetary system, the current situation and the economic policy being pursued.

Latvijas Banka takes an active part in promoting economic education among the general public, inter alia, offering interactive tours in Latvijas Banka's Visitors Centre "Money World" and maintaining the website www.naudasskola.lv ("Money School") for the use of students and teachers as well as the macroeconomic analysis website macroeconomics.lv. The academic year 2017/2018 will be already the fourth year when leading economists and experts of Latvijas Banka will visit higher education institutions in Riga and regions of Latvia and deliver lectures on crucial topics concerning the economies of Latvia and the euro area as well as global economic issues.