Category Archives: International Vernon Smith Prize

International Vernon Smith Prize

Vernon Smith Prize 2016 – The Essays

Vernon Smith Prize 2016 | On February 6, 2017 the winners of last year’s essay competition did defend their papers at a special event in Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein). The essays of the three winners can read and downloaded here:

First Prize (€4,000): Karol Zdybel, Poland

Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy. Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry
(PDF, 229 kb)


Second Prize (€3,000): Alan Futerman, Argentina

The Hayekian Case for Direct Democracy
(PDF, 527 kb)


Third Prize (€2,000): Mark O’Kane, Great Britain

Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy: Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry
(PDF, 106 kb)

The 9th International Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics was an essay competition sponsored and organized by ECAEF European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein). Topic of 2016: ‘Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy. Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry!’

Vernon Smith Prize 2016: Winners announced

Vernon Smith Prize 2016 Call for Papers
Vernon Smith Prize 2016: Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy …

1. Prize: Karol Zdybel (Warsaw, Poland)


2. Prize: Alan Futerman (Rosario, Argentina)


3. Prize: Mark O’Kane (Lancashire, UK)


Essays had been judged by an international jury. They will be posted after their defense at the ‘International Vernon Smith Prize Ceremony’ on February 6, 2017 in Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein.

The 9th International Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics was an essay competition sponsored and organized by ECAEF European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein). Topic: ‘Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy. Cost and Benefit of the Citizenry’.

Although, democracy is fundamentally a method for preserving individual liberty and civil rights, this almost narcotic term has become so powerful today that all essential limitations on governmental power are breaking down before it. By deteriorating into a scheme of legitimizing the regime of coalitions of organized interests, representative democracies gradually transform into oligarchies. While it is assumed that governments always have the people’s best interests in mind, for the most part they seem to act in their own behalf. In direct democratic systems, however citizens have more controlling devices at their disposal and can propose, decide, or profoundly modify their governing laws, and even secede from the republic. Are direct democracies more cost effective and beneficial for the citizenry?

1st Prize EUR 4,000 – 2nd Prize EUR 3,000 – 3rd Prize EUR 2,000

ECAEF invited papers on this topic which needed to meet several requirements, such as:

Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2016).

Entries may not exceed 12 pages; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch; full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary (abstract) must be included.

Entries had to be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) including an abbreviated CV. Entry deadline was November 11, 2016.

Call for Papers! Just 6 Days left

Vernon Smith Prize 2016 Call for Papers
Vernon Smith Prize 2016: Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy …

Call for Papers! Just 6 Days left

The 9th International Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics is an essay competition sponsored and organized by ECAEF European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein). This years’ topic:


Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy.
Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry!


|- First Prize EUR 4,000 -|

|- Second Prize EUR 3,000 -|

|- Third Prize EUR 2,000 -|

Although, democracy is fundamentally a method for preserving individual liberty and civil rights, this almost narcotic term has become so powerful today that all essential limitations on governmental power are breaking down before it. By deteriorating into a scheme of legitimizing the regime of coalitions of organized interests, representative democracies gradually transform into oligarchies. While it is assumed that governments always have the people’s best interests in mind, for the most part they seem to act in their own behalf. In direct democratic systems, however citizens have more controlling devices at their disposal and can propose, decide, or profoundly modify their governing laws, and even secede from the republic. Are direct democracies more cost effective and beneficial for the citizenry?


Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy.
Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry!


ECAEF invites papers on this topic which meet the following requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2016).

2: Entries may not exceed 12 pages; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch; full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary (abstract) must be included.

3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) to krl@ecaef.li and must include an abbreviated CV, featuring DoB, education, and current position

4: Entries must be received on or before November 11, 2016.

5. It is mandatory that all prize winners participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument.

Essays will be judged by an international jury and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein, on February 6, 2017. First Prize €4,000 – Second Prize €3,000 – Third Prize €2,000.

Vernon Smith Prize 2016: Call for Papers!

Vernon Smith Prize 2016 Call for Papers
Vernon Smith Prize 2016

Call for Papers!

The 9th International Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics is an essay competition sponsored and organized by ECAEF European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein). This years’ topic:


Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy.
Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry!


|- First Prize EUR 4,000 -|

|- Second Prize EUR 3,000 -|

|- Third Prize EUR 2,000 -|

Although, democracy is fundamentally a method for preserving individual liberty and civil rights, this almost narcotic term has become so powerful today that all essential limitations on governmental power are breaking down before it. By deteriorating into a scheme of legitimizing the regime of coalitions of organized interests, representative democracies gradually transform into oligarchies. While it is assumed that governments always have the people’s best interests in mind, for the most part they seem to act in their own behalf. In direct democratic systems, however citizens have more controlling devices at their disposal and can propose, decide, or profoundly modify their governing laws, and even secede from the republic. Are direct democracies more cost effective and beneficial for the citizenry?


Direct Democracy versus Representative Democracy.
Cost and Benefits for the Citizenry!


ECAEF invites papers on this topic which meet the following requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2016).

2: Entries may not exceed 12 pages; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch; full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary (abstract) must be included.

3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) to krl@ecaef.li and must include an abbreviated CV, featuring DoB, education, and current position

4: Entries must be received on or before November 11, 2016.

5. It is mandatory that all prize winners participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument.

Essays will be judged by an international jury and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein, on February 6, 2017. First Prize €4,000 – Second Prize €3,000 – Third Prize €2,000.

8th Vernon Smith Prize | Read Winning Essays

Vernon Smith Prize 2014
Austrian Econonmics Applied: 8th International Vernon Smith Prize 2015.

8th International Vernon Smith Prize 

Vaduz (FL), February 29, 2016. Essays of the winners of the 8th International Vernon Smith Prize 2015 have now been posted, since all three authors have defended their papers at a special festive event on February 15, 2016 in Vaduz, the Principality of Liechtenstein.


1st Prize: Daniel W. Issing (Germany); Essay:

The Snowden Disclosures: An Inquiry Into The Virtue Of Whistleblowing From An Austrian Economics Perspective
Download Essay here (PDF)


2nd Prize: Demelza Hays (USA); Essay:

The Ethics of Government Surveillance: Is Edward J. Snowden a Hero or a Villain?
Download Essay here (DOCX)

3rd Prize: Mats Ekman (Finland); Essay:

Heroic Leaks of Information: Quixotic or Practical?
Download Essay here (PDF)

The annual Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics is sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).  Topic of the 2015 Essay Competition was: Edward J. Snowden: Hero or Villain?

Vernon Smith Prize Winners

Vernon Smith Prize 2014
Austrian Econonmics Applied: 8th International Vernon Smith Prize 2015.

8th International Vernon Smith Prize 

Vaduz (FL), January 24, 2016. After much reading, long discussions and at times quite difficult deliberations, the international jury of the VSP finally came to a conclusion and is delighted to announce the winners:
The 1. Prize goes to Daniel W. Issing (Germany), the 2. Prize to Demelza Hays (USA), and the 3. Prize to Mats Ekmann (Finnland). Heartfelt congratulations! Their profiles and essays will be posted after the winners have defended their papers at a special festive event on February 15, 2016 in Vaduz, the Principality of Liechtenstein.

The annual Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics is sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).  Topic of the 2015 Essay Competition was:


Edward J. Snowden:  Hero or Villain?


Vernon Smith Prize submission of essays ends on Dec 1, 2015

Vernon Smith Prize 2014
Austrian Econonmics Applied: 8th International Vernon Smith Prize 2015.

CALL FOR PAPERS!

8th International Vernon Smith Prize 

for the Advancement of Austrian Economics, sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).  Topic of the 2015 Essay Competition:


Edward J. Snowden:  Hero or Villain?


|- First Prize EUR 4,000 -|
|- Second Prize EUR 3,000 -|
|- Third Prize EUR 2,000 -|

  If a hacker intercepted communications and attacked private computers, it would be a crime. Yet when it’s done by a government, it represents a necessary component of national security and the protection of an unspecified ‘public interest’. Whether we are walking through a store, driving a car, checking e-mail, or simply talking to friends on a cell phone, we can be assured that some secretly erected government agency is listening in, tracking our behavior and storing huge amounts of metadata as a comprehensive record of what we do and who we are.  The abuse of power has become endemic to modern ‘democratic’ governance and legality becomes distinct from morality.
Can we assume that Snowden’s revelations only scrape the surface in revealing the lengths to which government agencies and their corporate allies will go? Is Edward Snowden just a mild mannered whistleblower carrying out a one man crusade against devilish state practices? Is he a Hero or a Villain? ECAEF invites papers on this topic which meet the following requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2015).

2: Entries may not exceed 12 pgs.; 1.5 space; left/right margins no less then 1 inch; including a full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary

3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (pdf) to krl@ecaef.li and must include a current CV, including DoB.

4: Entries must be received on or before December 1, 2015.

5. It is mandatory that all prize winners participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz. Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument. Essays will be judged by an international jury and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, the Principality of Liechtenstein on February 15, 2016.

Call for Papers!

Vernon Smith Prize 2014
Vernon Smith Prize 2014

The 7th International Vernon Smith Prize for the Advancement of Austrian Economics is sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein). This years topic of the Essay Competion:


“Trusting Politicians with Our Money is like Leaving a Cat in Charge of a Cream Jug”


|- First Prize EUR 4,000 -|

|- Second Prize EUR 3,000 -|

|- Third Prize EUR 2,000 -|

“Trusting Politicians with Our Money is like Leaving a Cat in Charge of a Cream Jug”. The ever present political desire for more and cheaper money is a fact which monetary authorities have never been able to resist. Not only contradicts history the naïve belief that governments have given us a safer money than we would have had without their claiming a monopoly to issuing it. This exclusive right has also its origin apparently not in any benefit it secures for citizens but simply in the aspiration to enhance the coercive powers of governments. Moreover, it is doubtful whether it has ever done anybody any good except to the rulers and their favorites.

ECAEF invites papers on this topic which meet the following requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2014!).

2: Entries may not exceed 12 pages; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch; full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary (abstract) must be included.

3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) to krl@ecaef.li and must include an abbreviated CV, featuring DoB, education, and current position

4: Entries must be received on or before November 9, 2014.

5. It is mandatory that all prize winners participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument.

Essays will be judged by an international jury and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein, on February 2, 2015. First Prize €4,000 – Second Prize €3,000 – Third Prize €2,000.