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Seven teams gather at Elon for regional College Fed Challenge

The student teams presented analyses of economic conditions and recommendations for monetary policymaking.

Seven collegiate teams competed in the 2017 Fifth District Regional College Fed Challenge hosted by the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University on Oct. 20.

Elon's College Fed Challenge team, John-Thomas Carroll ’19, Michaela Fogarty ’19, Christopher Folsom ’19, Zachary Lahey ’19, Austin Martin '18 and Hannah Quinlan ’19.

The annual academic competition encourages students to learn about the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking and the role of the Federal Reserve System.

Teams conducted research, analyzed data and presented on monetary policy to a panel of judges. Scores were based on content and analysis, responses to questions, teamwork, presentation and style.

"The Fed Challenge forced me to look beyond headline news about what is going on in the economy and really try to think like a Fed economist,” said Austin Martin ’18, who was a member of Elon’s team. “The hard part is that many questions on low inflation and low wage growth have no definitive answer, including some questions that stump economists at the Fed. Overall, I learned how to sift through speculation, propose calculated answers and extend the conversation on the monetary policy implications of current economic activity. As an aspiring lawyer, I will surely use my added research and rhetorical skills I gained from this competition."

The other Elon team members were John-Thomas Carroll ’19, Michaela Fogarty ’19, Christopher Folsom ’19, Zachary Lahey ’19 and Hannah Quinlan ’19. Assistant Professors of Economics Vitaliy Strohush and Brandon Sheridan served as Elon’s faculty mentors.

“The Fed Challenge is a phenomenal opportunity for students to study the current state of the economy,” Strohush said. “It provides them with the possibility to take on the roles of actual economists working for the Federal Reserve and make decisions on monetary policy in a formal setting similar to Federal Open Market Committee meetings. Our students learn and understand how the Federal Reserve decides and implements monetary policy, which current issues it takes into consideration when deliberating on the policy, and how this policy is transmitted to the rest of the economy.”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won the regional competition and advances to the semi-final round at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Other participating teams were Appalachian State University, Guilford College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Wake Forest University.

Nicole Filippo,
10/23/2017 10:55 PM