Economics is "a study of mankind in the ordinary business
of life," wrote the great English economist Alfred Marshall.
Thus, what economic lessons can be drawn from this bustling sixteenth
century Dutch market?
This year the Essay Contest explores how "a picture is worth
a thousand words." Students are to creatively apply their knowledge
of economics to the image instead of simply answering a written
What economic concepts are depicted in this image? What connection
do they have to the quality of life in a society? What economic
institutions have arisen in response to these concepts? How have
they influenced economic history? How do these concepts affect today's
economy? These questions are to help prompt students in formulating
their own ideas about the economic significance of this picture.
Students should take time to reflect on what they have learned
in their economics classes and/or economics books and articles.
They will explore how the picture relates to their knowledge of
economics. Most important, students have the opportunity to creatively
interpret the picture and find diverse resources to support their