Author: Clemence Vidal
Applied in: Winter 2017
University Offers: Warwick
In the fifth chapter of “Economics of the Common Good”, Nobel Prize winner Jean Tirole makes an interesting comparison between the economist and the anthropologist. They are closely linked because both study people, groups and organisations. I realised how interesting his statement was as I have always asked myself why businesses selling the same goods (for instance coffee shops or petrol stations) are most likely to be next to each other instead of spread evenly throughout a community. I discovered the reason behind this simple observation through Hotelling’s law. Customers may be better served by distributing services throughout a community, but this leaves companies vulnerable to competition. Economics is key to interpreting those anthropological findings as through models it helps us understand the behaviour not only of people but also of markets. Fascination with market dynamics is one of the key reasons for my desire to study economics.
In order to study Economics at university, I chose the scientific stream for my French Baccalaureate as it puts a strong emphasis on Maths. My interest in Economics started in “Seconde” (Year 11) when I had the chance to take “Social Science and Economics” course. I wanted to deepen my knowledge beyond this, so I enrolled in an Economics and Business Management summer course held at Cambridge University, which provided me with a broad grounding in economic theory. I particularly enjoyed discovering Game Theory through the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The methodology taught me the importance of Mathematics in predicting outcomes. I was interested in learning more about the subject so I also wrote an article on the Nash equilibrium for a news website (Infosource.london) and presented it to my Further Mathematics class. Combining what I knew about the Nash equilibrium with what I had learnt a year before in a “Strategic Thinking and Game” course during a summer camp, I explained to my classmates the importance of strategy in social cooperation games.
My schooling has given me the chance to hone my knowledge in various subjects: apart from French and English, I studied ten subjects in Year 12. This helped me develop strong time management skills, which I believe will help me considerably in my undergraduate studies. Studying History and Geography and reading international newspapers such as “The Economist” or “Le Monde” has increased my awareness of current affairs. I have become passionate understanding the mechanisms of wealth creation and redistribution while reading articles following the publication of The Economics of Inequality by Thomas Picketty.
Alongside my academic credentials, I have given my best in extracurricular activities. I have been playing the flute and the piano extensively for the last ten years. I have been fencing at a competitive level since Year 7. I joined the Great British team in Year 9, competing as an individual and in the team on the regional, national and international fencing circuits. Competitions and learning to deal with both success and defeat truly have truly helped me to grow in character and self-discipline. I have developed perseverance and self-motivation but also the ability to cope with pressure. Being part of a team and supporting others are key to my enjoyment. Furthermore, I have tutored students with difficulty in Mathematics, helping them gain confidence. Last summer I enrolled in a voluntary care project in Cambodia. Both projects helped me realise the great feeling of impacting other people’s lives. Volunteering in Cambodia made me face in a concrete way the consequences of disparate distribution of wealth.
With my desire to learn, I would be thrilled to study in one of the UK’s top universities. I want to join a multicultural environment where I would be motivated in playing an active role through societies. I look forward to studying Economics.