Hayek Essay Contest

Scholarship Value: $2,500
Awards Available: 3

Essays should address one or more of these quotes from Hayek and/or suggested questions. Essays should be structured as an academic journal article in the appropriate discipline

“Few people ever have an abundance of choice of occupation. But what matters is that we have some choice, that we are not absolutely tied to a job which has been chosen for us, and that if one position becomes intolerable, or if we set our heart on another, there is always a way for the able, at some sacrifice, to achieve his goal. Nothing makes conditions more unbearable than the knowledge that no effort of ours can change them; and even if we should never have the strength of mind to make the necessary sacrifice, the knowledge that we could escape if we only strove hard enough makes many otherwise intolerable positions bearable.”.

Hayek, Friedrich (1944) The Road To Serfdom. George Routledge & Sons. p. 98.

“Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions and will receive praise or blame for them. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable”.

Hayek, Friedrich (1944) The Collected Works of FA Hayek. V17. The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition. Routledge & Sons. p. 133.

There are those who argue that the government needs to take command of the economy to ensure that everyone is equally treated. But is the Government truly the one in possession of the knowledge to know how scarce resources should be allocated?

  • How do markets solve the problem of access to scarce resources for the poor and the marginalized in comparison to a government-controlled economy?
  • What role do markets play in tapping into the entrepreneurial potential and spirit of an individual to ensure that individuals in pursuit of their self-interest create greater benefits for society?
  • Can markets solve crippling social issues which may keep individuals trapped in poverty? Does free exchange allow for an expansion of human liberty and dignity when compared to welfarism?
  • For individuals, choice and consequences go together, as Hayek argues. How does this apply to a democratic governments’ choices and their accountability? How should it apply? What mechanisms would ensure that choices and consequences go together for governments as they do for individuals?

Rules of Eligibility and Submission Guidelines:

The Hayek Essay Contest is open to all individuals 36 years old or younger.  Entrants should write a 5,000 word (maximum) essay. Essays are due on May 31, 2024 and the winners will be announced on June 30, 2024.

Essays must be submitted in English only. Electronic versions should be sent to mps.youngscholars@ttu.edu. Authors of winning essays must present their papers at the General Meeting to receive their award*. The essays will be judged by an international panel of three members of the Society.

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