Competition
Information on how to prepare for the IEO: rounds, tasks and useful materials
Competition
Information on how to prepare for the IEO: rounds, tasks and useful materials
Competition
Information on how to prepare for the IEO: rounds, tasks and useful materials
Parts of the Challenge
Financial literacy
Economics
Business case
Online simulation game in creating personal financial plans
Open questions and multiple choice questions about theory and practice
Presentation of case solutions
in English before the Jury
General
1.1. Although the teaching of economics and similar subjects is very different worldwide,
the tasks of the IEO will be composed in a way that facilitates equal competition. The tasks will not be aimed primarily at testing the knowledge of theory. A significant share of the tasks will be practical-oriented, test analytical skills and curiosity.

1.2. Economics and Finance parts of the competition are individual and closed-book.
A contestant may use a simple (non-programmable) pocket calculator and a dictionary
for translating words. The dictionary must be clean — without any notes or extra sheets
of paper in it. Smartphones and other devices are prohibited.

1.3. In accordance with Statute of the IEO, all tasks will be provided only in English. Contestants must provide their solutions in English.

1.4. In every part of the competition, the result is first computed in raw points. Raw points
are then normalised to get the final points according to the following procedure.

1.4.1. Let Gi be the raw score of the contestant (or team in Part 3) i in the part of the Olympiad, A — the average of all raw scores, σ — standard deviation of all raw scores. Then we define
Z-score of the contestant i as:

Zi = (Gi A)/𝜎

1.4.2. The final result of the contestant i is then calculated as follows:

Fi = max {M/2 + Zid; 0}

Where M is the maximum possible result of this part (in final points) specified in this Syllabus, and d is chosen so that the highest Fi equals M.

1.4.3. If some scores change in the process of moderation, Z-scores and final scores
are recalculated.

1.4.4. The maximum individual final points for the parts of the competition (variable M)
are the following: 100 for Economics section, 50 for Financial Literacy section, 50 for Business
(Case Study) section. The individual points for Business (Case Study) part equal the team points for the part.

1.4.5. The total individual results are calculated as a sum of all three final scores. Ties are broken by taking the score from the Economics part. If still tied, the Finance section results are taken.

1.4.6. The total team results are calculated as a sum of:

  • The average final score of team members in the Economics section divided by 2;
  • The average final score of team members in the Finance section;
  • The team score in Business (Case Study) section.

    Ties are broken by taking the average team score from the Economics part. If still tied,
    the Business (Case Study) section results are taken.
Economics
2.1. The tasks in Economics (the first part of the competition) should test contestants'understanding of basic economic concepts and models, their curiosity about
the field and analytical skills. This section of the competition is individual.

2.2. The main recommended textbook for the Economics section is The Economy by the CORE Economics Education project. CORE (which stands for Curriculum Open-access Resources
in Economics) offers a modern way of teaching economics that is widely accessible
for students with any backgrounds and available online at https://www.core-econ.org
(free of charge).

2.3. Supplementary recommended textbook for preparation is Principles of Economics by N. Gregory Mankiw (the newest edition). It represents the more traditional approach to teaching introductory economics. These two textbooks are available in English, Mankiw'stextbook is also translated into other languages, CORE Textbook is also available in French. If these resources are unavailable for contestants, they can use other economics textbooks of principles level.

2.4. Economics section of the IEO includes 20 multiple choice questions and 5 open questions; the overall time limit is 235 minutes. Multiple choice questions test the basic understanding
of economic concepts (which may include simple calculations). Each of the 5 open questions will be stated either quantitatively (include calculations) or qualitatively (include extensive explanations) or both.

2.5. In every paper, all 20 multiple choice questions will be graded (4 raw points for the correct answer, minus 1 raw point for the incorrect answer). 5 open questions will represent different topics of economics; the contestant must explicitly choose 4 of them to be graded in their paper. The maximum grade for each open question is 30 raw points. If a contestant provides solutions for all 5 open questions, all of them will be commentedon by the Jury, but only 4
will add to the contestant's score. If in this case a contestant hasfailed to specify solutions
to be graded, the maximum grade of 5 answers will be excluded.

2.6. Each open question and multiple-choice question must belong to one or more
of the following topics:
  • Specialization and the gains from trade;
  • Technology and long-run growth;
  • Game theory: conflict and cooperation;
  • Institutions;
  • Firms;
  • Competitive markets for goods and services (including government interventions and non-clearing markets);
  • Labour market;
  • Market failures;
  • Macroeconomic data: measuring income, inflation and unemployment;
  • Money;
  • Fluctuations and macroeconomic policy;
  • Open economy;
  • Inequality;
  • Environment;
  • New industries and markets: innovations and networks.
The problems and multiple-choice questions should be diverse in topics.
Financial literacy
3.1. Contestants will compete in creating a Personal financial plan. It will be an imitation contest about the real financial world. Contestants will deal with various financial instruments and institutions, economic processes, crisis situations and imitations of life circumstances. They will have to choose useful financial instruments that should work for the protection
and multiplication of the game capital. The game process will require participants to plan, make decisions, think critically, evaluate the profitability of their investments, and to achieve the goal set. Financial model used in the competition will be universal, thus, no specialized knowledge of the economy of any particular country is required. Every contestant will be working for his or her individual result.

3.2. This part is designed to evaluate contestant's understanding of the following concepts
and themes, related to personal finance:

Income and expenses management:
  • Fixed cost(taxes, loans, education, basic needs);
  • Variable cost;
  • Spending;
  • Basic Accounting.

Investment:
  • General knowledge of investment instruments and their use;
  • Investment planning;
  • Funds;
  • Retirement savings;
  • Compound interest;
  • Return rates and risk-return analysis;
  • Ability to recognise fraud;
  • Insurance;
  • Own business with simple calculations:
    - Taxes;
    - Fundraising;
    - Business plan calculation;
    - Risk management;
Credit:
  • Interest payments and calculation, cost-benefit analysis;
  • Types of payments (annuity, differentiated);
  • Debt management.

3.3. Participating in this section of the IEO requires basic knowledge of financial concepts. Some of them can be found at:

Business case (case study)
4.1. The competition in business is a team competition and includes the oral presentation
of the results. Presentations must be supported by slides. The presentations should be in English.

4.2. Case study part is a team competition and lasts for two days — 1) day of preparation; 2) day of the presentation. During the day of preparation, contestants may use any online and offline materials, but it is prohibited to contact other people for help. All teams submit their slides
by 23:59 local time of the preparation day. No changes to slides are allowed after this time.

4.3. Business case solution consists of several parts. Here are the competencies contestant should acquire, that will be evaluated by the jury, related to those parts:

Analytical thinking: the ability to structurally approach the solution of a complex business problem, correctly dividing it into streams (into directions within which the solution
of the problem may lie).

As a rule, the team should divide the case into some large blocks, which, in turn, are further divided and so on to the level of specific problems. A good structure corresponds to theMECE principle (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive), that is, it covers all possible solutions, but each individual stream does not intersect with others.

Conceptual thinking: the ability to build correct hypotheses based on the resulting structure, made by analysis. Here the team checks how ideas respond to the necessary request and correctly address these or other problems of the enterprise, the team also makes sure that these solutions are feasible and have a common and business sense.

Quantitative thinking: no case can be solved without simple but fast calculations and more complex models that illustrate certain analyzes.

Communication skills: the ability to correctly build a presentation and to answer questions.

Presentation with instructions can be downloaded here.

4.4. The PC recommends the following literature. Useful literature for case solving:

  • The Pyramid Principle, Barbara Minto;
  • Crack the Case, David Ohrvall;
  • The Trusted Advisor, D. Maister, C. Green, R. Galford.

Useful literature for data analysis:
  • The McKinsey Way, Ethan Rasiel;
  • Strategic Management, Thompson Strickland;
  • The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge;
  • Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman;
  • Case in Point, Marc Cosentino;
  • BCG on Strategy, C. Stern, M. Deimler.

Useful literature for presentations:
  • Say It With Charts, Gene Zelazny;
  • Unfolding the Napkin, Dan Roam;
  • Visualize This, Nathan Yau;
  • The Pyramid Principle, Barbara Minto;
  • Slide:ology, Nancy Duarte

In addition to books listed above, the PC recommends studying the example case and a case that was used at the IEO 2018. Additional materials for preparation will be provided to the team leaders of the invited teams.

4.5. In addition to books listed above, the PC recommends studying the example case that was used at the IEO 2018 and can be found here: https://2018.ecolymp.org/tasks-of-ieo-2018/. Additional materials for preparation will be provided to the team leaders of the invited teams.
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