Fraser Institute Student Essay Contest

Scholarship Value: $1,500
Awards Available: 15

Unprecedented is a word that has been used repeatedly to describe all aspects of the last two years: global pandemic, centralized lockdowns, overwhelmed health care facilities, high inflation, revolutionized AI, war in Ukraine, etc. Governments often respond to remarkable moments in history by creating policies they feel would help address the situation. What insight can our Essential Scholars series offer the current situations and events? Relying on the ideas of one of our Essential Scholars, construct an essay that describes a scholar’s response, explanation, or rebuttal to a current event. You can use a scholar’s economic theory to examine unprecedented situations, propose potential policies that a scholar would have put forward, or suggest how certain existing policies would have been adapted by a particular Essential Scholar.

Example Questions:

  • What would Milton Friedman argue should be a government’s response to inflation?
  • In a post-COVID world, what would Jane Jacobs say about the state of our cities?
  • How does James Buchanan’s thoughts on public choice theory apply to the economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine?
  • How can Joseph Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction help us understand the rise and fall of businesses?
  • What would one of the Essential Scholars say about Canada’s current housing and rent situation?

APPLICATION RULES

  1. The contest is open to students studying in Canada and to Canadian students studying abroad. Upon request, Canadian students studying abroad will be expected to provide proof of citizenship. A student is defined as someone who attends school in the 2022/2023 school year or is enrolled to attend in 2023/2024.
  2. Submissions will be considered from secondary and post-secondary (undergraduate and graduate) students in all disciplines.
  3. There will be three separate categories: high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. The category definitions are based on your status in the 2022/2023 school year; for example, if you are an undergraduate student from fall 2022 until spring 2023, you qualify in the ‘Undergraduate’ category.
  4. An essay can have more than one author, and any prizes awarded will be split evenly between the authors. The category in which the essay will be considered will be that of the author with the highest level of education; for example, if you are an undergraduate student and you coauthor with a graduate student, your essay will be considered in the graduate category.
  5. Essay must be between 1,000-1,500 words, not including references.
  6. Entry must be a single document, the header of each page of the essay must include the author’s full name and a page number.
  7. Essay entry must include a cover page, which the name of the author(s), mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. High school students should include school and grade. Postsecondary students should include school, major, and year of graduation.
  8. Entries must be submitted online in .pdf or .doc format.
  9. Entries may only be submitted once. Further submissions with revisions will not be accepted.
  10. Entries must include references cited from academic sources. Any academically acceptable referencing style may be used.
  11. Please note that if you are a finalist and include a graph in your essay, you will be required to send it to us in an Excel file with the underlying data in order that we can recreate it in-house. If you want to include a previously published graph for which you do not have the underlying data, you must cite its source appropriately to prove that you have permission to reuse it.
  12. Failure to follow these rules may lead to disqualification from the contest.
  13. Entries will be judged on originality, clear expression of ideas, the ability to empirically support their argument and understanding of competitive markets and/or the impact of government intervention.
  14. All entries and ideas become the property of the Fraser Institute. In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners may be published in Canadian Student Review once they have gone through the peer-review process.
  15. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2023.
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