About

COMPETITION SYLLABUS AND PREPARATORY MATERIALS

The Taiwanese Economics Olympiad (TEO) is the first national competition under the International Economics Olympiad (IEO) in Taiwan for high school students confident of economics, business, and finance.

In the competition, interdisciplinary knowledge and creative problem-solving skills are required on the way toward the annual arena of the IEO.

In light of the IEO, the TEO comprises 3 pillars: economics, finance, and business cases and is conducted in English only.

Competition syllabus

1. General

Although the teaching of economics and similar subjects might be very different, the tasks of the TEO 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.

All tasks 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.

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

2. Economics

Each economics multiple-choice question and open question must belong to one or more of the following topics:

    1. Economics topics from high school courses:

      • Opportunity cost and comparative advantage;

      • Supply and demand;

      • Market equilibrium;

      • Competitive market;

      • External effects;

      • Public goods;

      • Tax and government policy;

      • Macroeconomic data: Measuring income.

    2. Economics topics not from high school courses:

      • Specialization and the gains from trade;

      • Technology and long-run growth;

      • Game theory: conflict and cooperation;

      • Institutions;

      • Firms;

      • Labor market;

      • Market failures;

      • Macroeconomic data: inflation and unemployment.

      • Fluctuations and macroeconomic policy;

      • Open economy;

      • Inequality;

      • Environment;

      • New industries and markets: innovations and networks.

3. Finance

Each financial multiple-choice question and open question must belong to one or more of the following topics:

      1. Income and expenses management:

        • Fixed cost (taxes, loans, education, basic needs);

        • Variable cost;

        • Spending;

        • Basic accounting and financial reports.

      2. Investment:

        • Money;

        • General knowledge of investment instruments and their use;

        • Investment planning;

        • Funds;

        • Retirement savings;

        • Compound interest;

        • Return rates and risk-return analysis, capital asset pricing model;

        • Efficient frontier;

        • Ability to recognize fraud;

        • Insurance;

        • Own business with simple calculations: Taxes, Fundraising, Business plan calculation, Risk management;

      3. Credit:

        • Interest payments and calculation, cost-benefit analysis;

        • Types of payments (annuity, differentiated);

        • Debt management.

4. Business case

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:

    1. 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)

    2. 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.

    3. Quantitative thinking

      • No case can be solved without simple but fast calculations and more complex models that illustrate certain analyzes.

    4. Communication skills

      • The ability to correctly build a presentation and to answer questions.

Details

1. Preliminary stage

Part 1: Multiple Choice Questions

    • 30 multiple choice questions; the overall time limit is 90 minutes.

    • All 30 multiple choice questions will be graded (4 points for the correct answer, minus 1 point for the incorrect answer, zero points for no answer).

Part 2: Open Questions

    • 3 sections with 6 open questions; the overall time limit is 180 minutes.

    • Every problem is worth 30 points.

    • Students must choose at least one problem from each section. Solve no more than 4 problems out of 6.

    • If students provide solutions for 5 or 6 problems, all of them will be commented by the Jury but only 4 will add to score. In this case, if students do not specify which to grade, the lower 4 grades will be included.

2. Final stage

The final round is a business case study task and includes the oral presentation of the results. Presentations can be supported by slides or posters. The presentations should be in English.

Case study task lasts for 1 hour and 15 mins — 1 hour of preparation, 10 minutes of the presentation and 5 minutes for Q&A. Contestants are allowed to use their own personal computer. During the period of preparation, contestants may use any online and offline materials, but it is prohibited to contact other people for help.

Preparatory resources

1. Mathematical skills

To analyze quantitative problems, we recommend you to become familiar with these mathematical skills:

    • Sequences and series;

    • Permutation and Combination;

    • Probability and data analysis: average, medium, standard deviation, expected value, regression line, normal distribution;

    • Basic calculus.

2. Recommended materials

    • Economics

    • Finance

    • Business case

      • The Pyramid Principle, Barbara Minto

      • Crack the Case, David Ohrvall

      • The Trusted Advisor, D. Maister, C. Green, R. Galford

      • 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

      • Say It With Charts, Gene Zelazny

      • Unfolding the Napkin, Dan Roam

      • Visualize This, Nathan Yau

      • The Pyramid Principle, Barbara Minto

      • Slide:ology, Nancy Duarte

3. Sample test papers