University of Warsaw wins the Econometric Game 2023 – University of Bologna and Vrije Universiteit place second and third

Meet the team leaders of the top 3 teams, and see behind the scenes of the Econometric Game.

Written by Ciloë Sans

The Econometric Game 2023 took place between the 19th and 21st April 2023. During this day, 26 universities from around the world came to compete against each other to solve an issue happening in our world by applying their econometric skills. This year’s theme was about malnutrition in Africa. The ranking of the Econometric Game 2023 is as follows:

  1. University of Warsaw
  2. University of Bologna
  3. Vrije University

I had the pleasure of interviewing the team captains of the winning universities and a member of the committee. Let us dive into what they had to say about their experience of the Econometric Game 2023 (from third to first place, followed by the committee perspective).

3. Vrije University: Gabriele Mingoli

From left to right: Marcello de Wit, Gabriele Mingoli, Barend Spanjers, Benjamin Weggelaar

How did you hear about it?
A professor from my department (econometrics) was looking for new masters and PhD students for this year’s Econometric Game and I said why not participate this year.

Why did you decide to apply for the Econometric Game?
I decided to apply for it because it is a fun experience as you get to meet new people, to see other universities participating and the cultural backgrounds are diverse. Also, all these people are studying econometrics so this is a challenge for the game.

Can you describe the composition of your team?
Our team consists of four male students, two of them (myself included) are doing our PhD in Econometrics and the other two are currently in their master’s of Econometrics and Data Science.  All the team members are Dutch, except myself, who is Italian.

As an Italian person, how did you feel working with Dutch people?
Generally, there were no cultural obstacles as I knew well the other PhD student and the two master students are clever so it was nice to work with them as a team.

Can you summarise what this year’s game was about?
This year’s topic was very interesting. It was about food security, so what is the prediction of a lack of food, for instance. We had to use econometrics in order to predict that in a certain province, they would not have enough food in the next year (factors such as climate change were considered).

How did you feel about being third of the Econometric Game?
It felt very nice to be third as we did not expect it due to the fact that we were many gooduniversities with good students. We were not sure of how far we could go, so we were happy with the outcome. Also, as we gave a good model with good results, I was proud of the team for the job we did.

What did you enjoy the most during the event?
What I enjoyed the most was meeting new people and there were a lot of international colleagues. Seeing different backgrounds and everyone was nice.

If you were to do it differently, what would you change in your preparation?
We did not prepare for the Econometric Game as it is hard to do so because the topic is different every year, so if we prepared more, it would have been better.

What advice would you give to universities considering joining the econometric gamein the future?
I would advise people to join as it is nice for everyone to get the opportunity to participate and meet new people. Obviously, if more people come, it is nicer.

2. University of Bologna: Filippo Pavanello

How did you hear about it?
One of my PhD cohorts participated in the previous edition, and I knew that he had been really happy about the experience.

Why did you decide to apply for the Econometric Game?
Our University promoted the event, and I was really curious about it. The idea of challenging myself, and so my knowledge, even in topics that are not my field of study, really stimulated me.

Can you describe the composition of your team?
Our team was composed of two PhD students and two second-year MSc students in Economics, and it comprised one female and three males.

From left to right: Claudio Lissona, Filippo Pavanello, Virginia Pagliero, Francesco De Alberti

Can you summarise what this year’s game was about?
This year’s game focused on predicting infant food insecurity and malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. We were tasked with meticulously preparing the data and making a carefully justified method choice to tackle this challenge.

How did you feel about being runner-up of the Econometric Game?
Being the runner-up of the Econometric Game felt amazing! It was a fantastic achievement for us and a real recognition of the incredible work done by the awesome people who trained and supported us since day one at our university. We could not be prouder of what we accomplished.

What did you enjoy the most during the event?
It was surely to make acquaintances and have fun with so many people from all over the world!

If you were to do it differently, what would you change in your preparation?
Personally, I would just tell myself to be more relaxed during the first day.

What advice would you give to universities considering joining the econometric game in the future?
First and foremost, I highly recommend that they join the competition. Regardless of the final outcome, participating in it would provide their students with a fantastic and enriching experience. Secondly, I suggest investing time in preparing the students, as it would broaden their econometric skills and give them a wider range of options to apply in the competition.

1. University of Warsaw: Mateusz Buczyński

How did you hear about it?
We have long known about the competition – myself included. This was actually my fourth time participating in the Econometric Game. I think we learned the most about it word-of-mouth from fellow students who have previously taken part in the competition.

From left to right: Mateusz Buczyński, Mateusz Kijewski, Michał Kunstler, Michał Woźniak

Why did you decide to apply for the Econometric Game?
In our case, we were selected by the University to represent it in the Econometric Game. After performing well in the previous year’s competition and securing the third position, we were determined to challenge ourselves further and strive for an even better outcome. We wanted to surpass our own records and showcase the talent and capabilities of our university’s students in  the field of econometrics.

Can you describe the composition of your team?
Our team consisted of four members, with two members named Mateusz and two members  named Michał. In terms of educational background, two of us are PhD candidates, with myself  being in the final stages of completing it, while Michał is in the middle. The other two members, Michał and Mateusz, are both in the process of completing their Master’s degrees.

Can you summarise what this year’s game was about?
This year’s game revolved around the pressing issue of malnutrition in Africa. Our task was to develop a comprehensive model that could accurately predict the level of malnutrition in different regions of Africa. We had to analyse various socio-economic factors, demographic data, and health indicators to create a robust predictive model that could assist policymakers in addressing this critical issue effectively.

Last year, you were 3rd and this year 1st. How did you feel about winning it?
Winning the competition was an incredible feeling for our team. It was a mixture of surprise and immense satisfaction. While we were pleasantly surprised by our victory, deep down, we had a strong belief in our abilities and the hard work we had put into preparing for the competition. Being crowned as the champions of the Econometric Game validated our efforts and served as a testament to our skills in econometrics and problem-solving.

What did you enjoy the most during the event?
Of course, the announcement of results!

If you were to do it differently, what would you change in your preparation?
Reflecting on our preparation for this year’s Econometric Game, we genuinely believe that it was nearly perfect. There is little we would change about our approach. We were well-prepared, focused, and managed our stress effectively throughout the competition. Perhaps if we were to do it differently, we would emphasise even stronger teamwork and communication strategies to enhance our collaborative efforts further.

What advice would you give to universities considering joining the econometric game in the future?
Never forget to enjoy the experience. While the competition can be intense and demanding, it is essential to maintain a sense of fun throughout the journey. Ultimately, the Econometric Game is not just about winning but also about personal growth, skill development, and forging lasting connections with fellow participants. Without having fun, what’s the point?

Committee perspective: Arthur van den Bergh

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role in the Econometric Game committee?
My name is Arthur and I am a Bachelor’s student in Econometrics. I have taken part in other committees in the VSAE and have tried to join the Econometric Game committee for the 2022 edition but I was not taken and I applied again for the 2023 edition and I was taken this time. My role in the committee was that I was in charge of finding a case so I had to make sure we had one for the game. Then, I hosted the opening ceremony and was present during the Econometric Game to make sure things were running smoothly.

What was this year’s Econometric Game about?
The theme of the 2023 edition was about child malnutrition in Africa. The participants had to come up with models to predict levels of child malnutrition in the Sahel (a region in the Northern-Central part of Africa, below the Sahara). Then, for the finalists, they had to go deeper in their analysis where they had to write a predictive model about food security in Chad.

How did you come up with this year’s task?
As I was handling the case of the Econometric Game, we had many contacts of professors at the UvA that knew about the Econometric Game. I had to send them emails to get some ideas and our aim was to get a case related to sustainability and social development.Someone from the company Analytics for a Better World, who was also a professor at the UvA, knew another professor who was doing analytics and had a case within the world of programming. He suggested we do malnutrition in Africa and this is what we wanted as we were looking for a case related to sustainability.

What is a challenge that you have faced during the Econometric Game?
A main challenge is how many people you had to keep in touch with throughout the committee period. You also had to send them reminders, ask for updates and the number of people you had to reach out to was very diverse as there were many different groups of people; for example, universities, sponsors, and more. It was a slow process so I would advise future students planning the Econometric Game to send emails as soon as possible.

How was your experience of the Econometric Game as a committee member?
Before the game, it was rather easy to keep in touch with the case maker but when the game started, the experience was even better. Although it was very tiring because you had to be there early before everyone arrived at the location and there were some stressful moments, for example hosting the opening ceremony was quite scary. But it was very exciting to see an international atmosphere and I especially enjoyed the first dinner as I talked to many people from different universities, everyone was relaxed as they were done with their cases and we selected the finalists during this dinner. This is what I hoped to get out of the event, so I was very happy. Seeing the teams happen and people being together was the best thing in this game.

Would you advise the Econometric Game committee to future VSAE students that want to join?
Yes, I definitely would recommend it even if you have to start emailing companies, universities, and other people as soon as possible. The Econometric Game is a very cool event with many like-minded individuals from around the world. This also shows what the field of econometrics can accomplish and this is impressive. Also, you should not forget to take time to appreciate how special the event is because it is easy to forget how nice and special this event is.

Econometrics students tackle malnutrition in 2023 Econometric Game

The University of Amsterdam welcomes econometricians from around the world for the 24th edition of the Econometric Game! In this competition, teams from top universities will compete for the trophy from 19 to 21 April. The Econometric Game is an initiative of UvA EB’s Study Association for Econometrics (VSAE).

Students teams will work to solve a challenging but relevant case using the latest advancements in Econometrics and Data Science. There was a long list of potential cases this year. In the end, the casemaker, Chintan Amrit, an associate professor with the Amsterdam Business School’s Business Analytics section, decided to bring students’ attention to the pressing matter of malnutrition in Africa.

This year’s case

This year, the case will revolve around wasting, a form of malnutrition, in the Sahel region of Africa. According to the UN, in the last year alone, wasting will have impacted the lives of approximately 6.3 million children under the age of 5 in 6 countries across the region. The challenge is even more relevant given the 27 percent increase in cases in 2022 compared to the previous year. The students will be expected to provide a predictive algorithm using their technical, econometric and creative skills.

About the Econometric Game

The Econometric Game usually brings together around 30 teams consisting of 4 postgraduate students with a maximum of 2 PhD students per team. While many of these students specialise in Econometrics, Mathematics and Data Science students participate as well. The 3-day competition is held in Amsterdam’s Zuiderkerk. The event starts with announcing the case topic to the students for the first time. Next, the teams spend the first 2 days working on the case. After careful evaluation by the jury, only 10 finalists remain to solve the last and most challenging part of the case on the third day. The winner of the Econometric Game will be announced during the last evening and the winning team takes the trophy home.

Lund University wins the Econometric Game 2021

Last week, the Econometric Game 2021 took place. In this extraordinary event, 30 teams from 30 different universities competed. They participated in a case about the impact of AirBnB on the housing market in Amsterdam created by Martijn Dröes and data was provided by Brainbay.

The housing costs in Amsterdam have increased significantly in recent years. It is a compact city with a limited stock of housing, but the popularity makes the prices go up. There are many other factors as well, but one that stands out for people is the AirBnB rent, which is a short-term renting service. This effect has attracted many people (also internationally) to invest in the city, which allegedly pushed up prices.

The jury, Martijn Dröes, Fonger Ypma, and Hans Koster, announced the top 3 on the 9th of April 2021.

  1. Lund University
  2. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  3. University of Cambridge

On behalf of the committee of the Econometric Game 2021, we congratulate Lund University.


The winning LUSEM team. Photo: David Dahlgren

The winning team consisted of the master’s students Ester Trutwin and Natalie Irmert, and the doctoral students Devon Spika and Matthew Collins. Lund University organised a small interview with the winners of this year. You can read the interview here.

Watch the opening and/or final presentations of the Econometric Game!

This year, the Econometric Game is a fully online event. Even though we as a committee would rather meet everyone in person in Amsterdam, an online event does bring one advantage with it. It is now possible for friends and family of the participants and also other people who are taking an interest in the Econometric Game, to watch the opening, the presentations of the finalists and the announcement of the winner by the jury.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday 8th of April 2021, 8:45 – 10:30
    Opening of the Econometric Game 2021. There will be some presentations from one of the organisers, the sponsors and the case where the participants will be working on will be explained.
  • Thursday 8th of April 2021, 20:50 – 22:00
    There is a walk-in until 21:00. There will be some short presentations and the jury will announce which teams will compete in the finale.
  • Friday 9th of April 2021,  17:00 – 18:15
    All the teams in the finale will give a presentation about their findings in case 2.
  • Friday 9th of April 2021, 20:55 – 21:55
    It is time for the announcement of the winner!

To be able to follow this extraordinary and insightful event, you can register through the following link.

See you ‘virtually’ there!

Note: Endtimes indicated in the schedule might be different.

Sponsor: Da Vinci Derivatives

We hereby introduce Da Vinci Derivatives to you. One of the sponsors of the Econometric Game 2021! As the Econometric Game committee, we are super excited that Da Vinci Derivatives is taking an interest in the Econometric Game. Keep on reading to find out more about Da Vinci Derivatives and their activities.

Da Vinci Derivatives:

Da Vinci Derivatives was founded in 2015 by a group of young trading professionals and has since been growing successfully. With our own capital and sound risk awareness, we trade listed derivatives on markets globally. We identify opportunities and trade based on in-house developed strategies, and we provide liquidity and efficiency to the markets.

Our philosophy towards work is best captured by the saying “Be good, work hard and great things will happen”. We are meritocratic by nature and believe that empowering talent in our organization is the only way forward. We aim at attracting the most qualified people in the industry, train them, provide them with all the required tools, continuously challenge them and allow them to grow both professionally and personally. Our business is highly innovative, IT-driven and entrepreneurial by nature. Our goal is to become the best trading company in the world!

Check out their website and LinkedIn!

Sponsor: Flow Traders

We hereby introduce Flow Traders to you. One of the sponsors of the Econometric Game 2021! As the Econometric Game committee, we are super excited that Flow Traders is taking an interest in the Econometric Game. Keep on reading to find out more about Flow Traders and their activities.

Flow Traders:

Flow Traders is a principal trading firm founded in 2004. We are a leading global technology-enabled liquidity provider, specialized in Exchange Traded Products (ETPs). Flow Traders is at the intersection of finance, cutting-edge technology and scientific research. We are able to grow our organization further, thereby ensuring that our trading desks in Europe, the Americas and Asia provide liquidity across all major exchanges, globally, 24 hours a day. Financial markets have rapidly shifted from trading in the pit to algorithmic trading, and our business model has made us an entrepreneurial and competitive firm in the FinTech space. We use our principal technology platform to quote bid and ask prices in thousands of ETP listings. We are also active in other asset classes such as bonds, FX, cryptocurrencies and similar financial products. On top of that, we provide liquidity to institutional counterparties off-exchange across all regions!

Flow Traders stays ahead of the competition by focusing on technology and niche competencies in markets where every second counts. This requires access to the best information and the ability to respond instantly. To achieve this, our team of software developers works in partnership with experienced traders to identify and execute tomorrow’s strategies, making Flow a daily pioneer in professional trading.


Check out their LinkedIn and website!

Universities participating in the EG 2021

After a cancelled Econometric Game in 2020, we are extra happy that many universities were motivated to join the Econometric Game in 2021. A strict selection left us with 30 universities that will join the coming event in April.
The universities are:

– Aarhus University
– Erasmus University Rotterdam
– Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
– Harvard University
– Keio University
– Lomonosov Moscow State University
– Lund University
– Maastricht University
– Monash University
– New Economic School
– Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration
– Oxford University
– Stellenbosch University
– Tilburg University
– University Carlos III de Madrid
– Université de Lausanne
– Universidad del Rosario
– Universidad Nacional de Colombia
– University of Antwerp
– University of Bristol
– University of Cambridge
– University of Copenhagen
– University of Florence
– University of Melbourne
– University of Orléans
– University of Rome Tor Vergata
– University of St. Gallen
– University of Warsaw
– University of Amsterdam
– VU University Amsterdam

Date reveal Econometric Game 2021

We are proud to announce that the Econometric Game of 2021 will take place on the 8th and 9th of April 2021!

The event in 2021 will be a little bit different compared to usual. After the unfortunate cancellation of the Econometric Game 2020, we want to make sure that this does not happen with the event in 2021. Due to the Coronavirus, times are still uncertain and for this reason, the EG 2021 will turn into a fully online event. This will guarantee that all students that wish to participate have the possibility to do so.

This time the Econometric Game will be held in 2 days. On the 8th of April, the teams will work on the first case and the reports will be handed in. The jury will check the reports and announce the finalists. 10 teams will make it to the final and they will work on the second case on the 9th of April. After the final reports are checked and each team in the final gave a presentation, the winner will be announced.

The Committee of the Econometric Game 2021 is working hard to make the first online Econometric Game possible and we are looking forward to the event. Updates will follow soon.

Update on the Econometric Game (EG) 2018

In the past months the preparations for the 2018 edition have been ongoing. We would like to share some of the progress made during that period.

First off all, we can confirm the dates for the EG 2018, the EG will be held from the 11th until 13th of April. During those days the participants will compete in the Zuiderkerk in Amsterdam, the events main location.

Next to that we are proud to announce that the Amsterdam University Fund (AUF) will be our new partner. The Amsterdam University Fund (Stichting Amsterdams Universiteitsfonds) is a joint initiative of the University of Amsterdam Alumni Association (AUV) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). They help and support events and initiatives from the UvA. More information on them can be found at

Furthermore, after the applications have been received we picked the 30 participating universities using a mathematical model. The participating teams can be found on the homepage.

We will bring out another update soon.

Committee Econometric Game 2018