On Thursday May 2nd I travelled with my teammate Laurence Tuohy to the O’Reilly Hall at University College Dublin (UCD) to compete in this year’s Young Economist of the Year (YEOTY) 2019. Our project title An Investigation into the Efficacy of an Exception to the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. It was a culmination of many months hard work researching, investigating, writing, editing and charting results. We felt the project had a very good chance of doing well, but until we saw the competition it was difficult to gauge our level.
We studied the reaction of students while our Economics’ teacher Ms O’Sullivan illustrated the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility in our Economics’ class using Oreo biscuits. Although the law states that satisfaction decreases as units consumed increase, we noted that this did not appear to be the case on the consumption of the last Oreo. We discussed this anomaly and decided to conduct an experiment to examine the efficacy of this exception to the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility.
This involved conducting research on fellow pupils based on random sampling. Each student was expected to consume 8 units of Oreos; the control group did not know the 8th cookie was their last. However the other group did. When we asked for permission from the headmaster and principal, they told us that we would not have any problem fining volunteers for our research. They were right! Our research findings proved that indeed the last Oreo provided increased satisfaction which contradicts the law in question. We suggested that further research needed to be done using greater gender, age and social balances. Essentially we believe this project may have great potential for marketing and consumer behaviour.
We left Glenstal at 6.00am with 5th year Economics’ students and arrived early to set up out stall. We learned on early on that we were in the gold medal category, and the representative from the Central Bank told us that we were one of his favourite projects. The judges were very impressed with the work that we had done.
We won 1st place in the TY category and 2nd place in the IGEES category, and were overall 2nd place winners of YEOTY 2019. We were absolutely delighted to have represented the school so well and to be holding three trophies. The highlight of the day was to learn that we had won our places as part of the Irish team travelling to St Petersburg in Russia from July 23rd to August 1st to represent our country in the International Economics’ Olympiad. Our economics’ teacher Mrs O’Sullivan will travel with us.
We are very proud to represent Glenstal at this event.
Cillian O’Sullivan TY