The Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate college students inspired by the workings of the Federal Open Market Committee. It is intended to encourage students to learn more about the U.S. macro economy, the Federal Reserve System and the implementation of monetary policy. The Fed Challenge Competition takes place every November and it is administered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in partnership with the Eastern Economic Association. About 40 colleges and universities compete in the New York regional competition. Regional winners advance to the national competition.
Each college or university is represented by a team composed of three to five undergraduates. The teams are judged by a panel composed of Fed staff, professional economists and academics on the basis of a 20-minute presentation concluding with a recommendation for monetary policy and a 15-minute Q&A session. The 20-minute presentation must:
- discuss current economic and financial conditions
- provide a forecast for the near term
- identify risks, and
- recommend Fed monetary policy action(s).
The 15-minute Q&A allows judges to ask questions that follow from the presentation, pose hypotheticals, and address key macroeconomic issues.
The Fed Challenge Course
The Fed Challenge course is typically offered as Independent Study (ECO 391) in the fall semester. This course aims to help students develop a deep and detailed understanding of the role that the economy, inflation and the financial markets play in monetary policy deliberations. They will also learn about the specific actions that the Fed takes to implement both interest rate and credit policy. In the process, students will be expected to develop research, presentation, critical thinking and cooperation skills that are fundamental to acquiring a deeper understanding in economics as a subject for advanced study and/or a career. The course will require readings from the Federal Reserve, U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Treasury, among others. In addition to a reading list, students will analyze high-frequency economic data and market developments.
All of the students will participate in the preparation of the TCNJ Fed Challenge team that will enter The College Fed Challenge held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a subset of students will be selected on a merit basis to represent TCNJ in the Fed Challenge competition. Students will prepare a presentation in accordance with the rules set forth by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the Fed Challenge competition.