Latvijas Banka organises the competition already for the 17th time. Participation is open to 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 or Master's degree programmes.

25 topics are proposed for the competition (for a full list, see https://www.makroekonomika.lv/konkursi/zinatniski-petniecisko-darbu-konkurss), including possibilities for monetary policy and coordination of economic policy in the low interest rate environment; total factor productivity drivers in the Baltic States; assessment of the European Union structural funds and direct investment efficiency in the Baltic States; methods of estimating the grey economy, their advantages and disadvantages; significance of the credit institutions' financing in today's economy; latest market risk assessment methods and their impact on the price setting mechanism of financial market instruments; factors determining the development of instant payments and their impact on household behaviour in Europe, etc.

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

For the second consecutive year, a special award named after the prominent Latvian economist Juris Vīksniņš will be awarded 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 17 May to 31 May 2019. The competition papers will be evaluated by a committee set up by Latvijas Banka. The papers winning awards will be published on the website  www.makroekonomika.lv, and their authors will receive money awards, incl. EUR 2 000 to the first-prize winner and EUR 1 422.87 to the winner of Juris Vīksniņš Award.

13 papers were submitted for the Competition of Student Scientific Research papers organised in the previous academic year of 2017/2018. The authors of the papers were 21 students from four Latvia's higher education institutions. The first prize in the competition was awarded to Filip Drazdou and Darya Labok, students of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, for the paper "Raspberries vs Wheat: Economic Sophistication as a New Predictor of Income Volatility". The paper analyses whether export diversification and uniqueness are the factors affecting output volatility.

The Regulation for the Competition, the papers of the previous prize-winners and other materials are available in www.makroekonomika.lv section FOR STUDENTS. Oļegs Krasnopjorovs, Economist at Latvijas Banka, describes the competition process and the preconditions for writing an excellent graduation paper: https://www.makroekonomika.lv/atzinas-no-latvijas-bankas-diplomdarbu-konkursa-2016, https://www.makroekonomika.lv/atzinas-no-latvijas-bankas-diplomdarbu-konkursa-2017 and https://www.makroekonomika.lv/latvijas-bankas-diplomdarbu-konkursa-atzinas-2018 (presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/LatvijasBanka/k-uzrakstt-izcilu-diplomdarbu). Higher education institutions are welcome to apply for Oļegs Krasnopjorovs' guest lecture on how to write an excellent graduation paper.

Being aware of the impact of economic literacy on the quality of life and economic growth, Latvijas Banka contributes systemic support to economic education. Latvijas Banka actively offers teachers of the social sciences, pupils, students and other interested parties different opportunities to learn and understand the regularities of the economy. In partnership with other institutions involved in implementing the National Strategy for Financial Literacy in Latvia for 20142020, Latvijas Banka promotes development where people have knowledge of finances and economics and they are capable of using it for ensuring their financial sustainability, enhancement of their competitiveness in the labour market and increase in well-being, thus also providing preconditions for the overall development of public at large.

In the year of Latvia's centenary, Latvijas Banka is implementing several projects to enhance knowledge:

  •        For competency-based approach in general education we help to develop a new aid for teaching economics. In 1998, Latvijas Banka contributed to publishing the first economics textbook for schools in Latvia; it's high time for something new.
  •       In all regions of Latvia we held discussions with entrepreneurs, students and public at large on the key factors of prosperity, and how to create value added to our products resulting in higher profit globally. 
  •        "Money World", the renovated knowledge centre of Latvijas Banka, is a modern and attractive knowledge base, particularly popular with students and pupils.
  •        The programme "From Sprīdītis to manager" (Sprīdītis, a fairy-tale character who believed in the legend that money could be dug out in the swamp) in an easy-to-understand way reminds people of economic truths affecting the lives of people and this country.

Latvijas Banka, acting in the public and economic interest, carries out several tasks significant for each and every inhabitant, financial markets and the public at large:

participates in the formulation and implementation of the euro area's monetary policy;
issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
discharges the function of the central national currency authentication centre;
maintains the interbank payment systems' infrastructure and promotes their smooth operation;
manages the foreign reserves and other financial investments;
acts as the financial agent of Latvia's government and provides financial services to other market participants;
compiles and publishes financial, monetary statistics and balance of payments statistics;
maintains and develops the Credit Register;
acts as an advisor to the Parliament and Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on monetary policy issues and other issues related to Latvijas Banka's operation.

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 educating the general public on various economic topics.