Undergraduate Debate

Each year the Department of Economics and the Undergraduate Economics Club (UEC) sponsor an undergraduate debate about an important and timely economic issue. Teams consist of four students on each side and the debate is judged by department alumni or faculty.

Students and alumni interested in participating in future debates should email: info@econs.umass.edu.

Past Debates

May 11, 2023
Will AI Benefit the Economy
Judges: Deepankar Basu, Christopher Boone, Itai Sher
April 28, 2022
Should the United States government forgive $25k worth of student debt?
Judges: Patrick Fenton, Juan-Camilo Cárdenas, Tom Peake
Moderator: Esosasere Osunde

April 29, 2021
The United States should institute a minimum wage of $15 at the federal level
Judges: Bill Troy, Stephen Clarke, and Samari Ijezie
Moderator: Leila Kiddu




April 20, 2017
Is it in the Best Interest of the United States for Manufacturing Jobs to Return?
​Judges: Michael Ash, Jerry Friedman, Serena Libardi
Moderator:  Tom Peake

April 8, 2016
The State of the U.S. Economy: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Debaters: Mark Ambrose, Michael Berner, Anya Conti, Matthew Harmon, Sam Hockenbury, Derrick Ray, Sonia Shuka, Shyam Sukumar
​Judges: Bill Troy, Edward Fleck, Thomas Peake
Moderator:  Michael Ash

April 16, 2015
High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation: Should formal, or informal, agreements between companies be allowed which prevent poaching of newly trained employees?
Debaters: Willis Chen, Matthew Harmon, Ryan Salame, Sonia Shuka, David Chesire, Tristan Deschler, Ryan Manning, Bryon Wells
Judges: Samuel Jordan, Paul Lawrence, Bill Troy
Moderator: Isaac Bears
Advisor: Carlos Marentes

April 10, 2014
Is protection of intellectual property necessary 'to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts'?
Marton Gal, Jonathan Labbe, Keith Mellott, Andrew Randall, Mel Abdul Mutalib, Aaron Cooper, Victor Paduchak, Stephanie Stoudenmire
Judges: Lisa Desforge '87, James Keller '85, James Santucci '13, Bill Troy '76
Moderator: Isaac Bears

April 3, 2013
Developing Countries Should Prefer Open Trade Policies
Isaac Bears, Samuel Jordan, Vick Mohanka, Siddhartha Pathak, John Grocki, Zachary Rabel, James Santucci, Ali Zaidi
Judges: Martha Carroll ’82, Christopher Masiar ’10, Bill Troy ‘76
Moderator: Sanjay Singh

April 26, 2012
Is Higher Education the Next Bubble?
Nareg Koshafian, Alexander Major, Aphrodite Marmarinos, Timothy Martin, James Santucci, Harrison Searles, Sanjay Singh, Ali Zaidi
Judges: Professor Randall Bausor, Stephen Clarke '86, Anastasia Wilson '11
Moderators: Laura Molyneaux & Thomas Peake
April 28, 2011
Is Big Business Able to Promote Social Welfare?
Debaters: Daniel Brock, Ryan King, Angela Lee, Laura Molyneaux, Thomas Peake, Daniel Schwartz, Luke Seaberg
Judges: Professor Gilberto Tadeu Lima (visiting scholar),
Professor Peter Skott, Bill Troy '76
Moderator: Anastasia Wilson
April 22, 2010
Should "Too Big to Fail" Banks Be Allowed to Exist?
James Chen, James Gagnon, Seware Kangalu, Peter Kearns, Nick LaQuerre, Joshua Slocum, Abhay Vasta
Judges: Rick Allen '79, Paul O'Keeffe '70, Bill Troy '76
Moderator: Nathan Nichols

April 30, 2009
Market Failure 2008: The Greenspan Debate
Chris Masiar, Nathan Nichols, Harrison Searles, Joshua Slocum, Merton Thompson
  April 17, 2008
Environmental Policy
  April 12, 2007
The Future of the US Health Care System
Organizer:  Philip Luck
  April 6, 2006
Will China or India be a Big Winner (or Loser) with Globalization?