Author: Charles Cazals
Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: Cambridge Interview, LSE, UCL, Warwick, Exeter
Since the financial crisis of 2008, it has become clear to me that Economics is the most relevant and important subject in today's world. By reading "Economics: Making Sense of the Modern Economy" by Saugato Datta, I have acquired a real understanding of the ways in which economists approach numerous issues, such as measuring a country's standard of living, or determining what causes households to save and invest. At university, I would particularly enjoy studying emerging countries' economies, and the causes and effects of the 2008 crisis, which continue to unfold today.
In order to pursue more advanced mathematical classes, I chose the French baccalaureate's scientific section. Prior to this I took Economic and Social Sciences classes in year 11 which familiarised me with diverse notions such as purchasing power parity and capital-labour ratio in companies. One of my favourite aspects of the subject is studying the different points of view and theories from well-known economists and exploring their relevance today. For example, I have recently heard a debate on the radio about Jean Baptiste Say's law that production is the source of demand, which John Maynard Keynes strongly criticised in The General Theory. It seems to me that Say's ideal of markets' auto-regulation has indeed encouraged abusive financial speculation since the 1960s and contributed sig-nificantly to today's subprime mortgage crisis. J.P Morgan's idea of not investing in companies where the executives earned more than twenty times the lowest salary also caught my attention, as President Hollande recently applied this ideology in a decree concerning public companies in July 2012. I regularly read newspapers, especially The Week, Capital (a French economic magazine) and The Economist. Besides, I listen to The Economist: All audio and other economic radio podcasts, which made me discover Ricardo's analysis on rents, the Labour Theory of Value, Marx's Surplus Value concept and many other fundamental theories.
Mathematics absorbs me, even outside school. I have regularly participated in the "Kangourou des Mathematiques", which has taught me to think independently and critically. In 2011, I was in the top 0.4% of nearly 50,000 candidates of my age. Last summer, I also attended a STEM Exscitec advanced mathematical course at Imperial College, during which I was asked not only to solve probability problems but to communicate my results comprehensively to students from other departments. This course introduced me to game theory and John Nash's equilibrium through the example of the prisoner's dilemma, showing me the importance of psychology in Economics.
In my own time, I play acoustic guitar as I like to sing and accompany myself. I also paint, mostly landscapes in acrylic, and I have been learning magic by myself for about 3 years. These activities have encouraged me to balance my time and to get used to the pressure of performing regularly. I also recently spent a week in Paris on work experience in a medium enterprise, BC Service, during which I learned a lot about the advantages and inconveniences of SMEs. I discovered that despite their flexibility and reactivity, these companies encounter a lot of difficulties in obtaining loans or subsidies which require many official procedures.
Taking eleven subjects in Year 12 (including Latin and Mathematics in English) has helped me develop excellent time management skills, which I know will be of use at uni-versity. I am very self-motivated, and also look forward to getting involved in various societies and musical events on campus during my time at university. With my enthusiasm for mathematics, in particular statistics, and my desire to acquire a better understanding of the financial world and economic theory, Economics is the course that I feel I am most suited to, and I would be thrilled to be able to pursue this discipline at University.