Category Archives: News


Mark your calendar: 12th Vernon Smith Prize

Vernon Smith Prize 2019
Vernon Smith Prize 2019: Call for Papers

The topic of the 12th International Vernon Smith Prize has been announced:

When the People fear their Government,
there is Tyranny.
When the Government fears the People,
there is Liberty

A democratic government derives its authority from the consent of the governed and is loosely defined as a set of institutions through which we adjudicate our disputes, defend our rights and protect honestly acquired property. Under the rule of liberty the government is assigned the duty of impartial umpire, and each individual gives reason, intent and moral scope to his own life. As long as a person does not violate the rights of others he is sovereign over his own affairs. Tyranny on the contrary, is characterized as a government that is an active player in people’s affairs. From a dictatorship to the benevolent welfare state all shapes of despotism wield their political authority and legitimized power of coercion to assure certain outcomes or forms of behavior considered desirable to determine how the members of the society may live, work, and associate with each other. Thus, the challenge in a democratic society is to keep government constrained and limited so that individuals can prosper and solve problems as free, independent and responsible citizens. However, it is the character rather than the volume of government activity that is important and ought to be specified in a constitution.

1st Prize: €4,000  |  2nd Prize: €3,000  |  3rd Prize: €2,000

All entries need to meet the following requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2019).

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 and must include a current CV with DoB.

4: Entries must be received on or before November 18, 2019.

5. It is mandatory that all prizewinners 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. An international jury will judge the essays and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, the Principality of Liechtenstein on February 13, 2020.

The International Vernon Smith Prize for the advancement of Austrian Economics is an annual essay competition sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).

Mark your calendar: ECAEF/CEPROM Conference on Dec 9/10, 2019

IV. ECAEF/CEPROM Conference, Monaco 2019

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand”.  Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Topic of the IV. International ECAEF/CEPROM Conference:

Towards a Viable Alternative

Markets and Entrepreneurship
to Protect the Environment

Friends of the ECAEF: mark your calendar! The IV. International ECAEF/CEPROM conference is an Academic Conference by invitation only, planned and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (FL); hosted by CEPROM – Center of Economic Research for Monaco (MC).

Academic Director:
ECAEF: Kurt R. Leube (

Administrative Director:
CEPROM: Emmanuel Falco (

Media Contacts:

Conference Date: Dec. 9/10, 2019

Musee Oceanographique de Monaco, Principality of Monaco

Conference Languages:
English/French; simultaneous translation.

We will update you with a detailed conference program once it has been released. Stay tuned.

Hochsteuerländer aller Welt, vereinigt euch!

Konzeptpapier der OECD zur Besteuerung der “digitalen Wirtschaft”: Auf diese Weise werden die Schwarzmärkte gefördert.

von Henrique Schneider
(Erstveröffentlichung am 24. Februar 2019 bei eigentümlich frei)

Henrique Schneider OECD
Fördert ungewollt Schwarzmärkte: OECD. Bildquelle: 360b/

Es gab eine Zeit, da setzte sich die Organisation für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (OECD) für Steuerwettbewerb ein. Das ist längst Geschichte. Heute ist sie ein Regulierungs- und Hochsteuerkartell. Ihre wiederholten Forderungen, die „digitale Wirtschaft“ zu besteuern, sind gefährlicher, als man denkt.

Im Februar 2019 eröffnete die OECD eine breite Konsultation zur Frage, wie die „digitale Wirtschaft“ zu besteuern ist. An dieser Umfrage können alle, Staaten, Organisationen und Individuen, teilnehmen. Ihr liegt ein Konzeptpapier zugrunde. Dieses wurde von der OECD selber vorbereitet. Seine Inhalte sind nicht neu. Sie gehen im Wesentlichen auf die Vorschläge der EU zurück, die „Gewinne“ der „digitalen Wirtschaft“ am Umsatz zu messen und zu besteuern.

Was schlägt man konkret vor? Bei digitalen Business-to-Customer- Transaktionen sollen die Gewinne der Unternehmen an ihren jeweiligen Umsätzen – also vor dem Abzug der Kosten – gemessen werden. Die Messung und die Besteuerung sollen dort erfolgen, wo die Transaktion stattfindet, und völlig unabhängig vom eigentlichen Sitz des Unternehmens. Zu diesen Transaktionen gehören beispielsweise jene, die über soziale Medien, Suchmaschinen oder Online-Märkte abgewickelt wurden.
Das OECD-Papier ist sibyllinisch. Es fängt mit einem Rückblick über die bisherigen Diskussionen an. Dann macht es lange Ausführungen zur Natur der digitalen Geschäftsmodelle und warum ihr Umsatz das bessere Maß für ihren Gewinn (sic!) ist. Die Katze wird erst im letzten Kapitel aus dem Sack gelassen: Es geht darum, den Steuerwettbewerb zwischen den (Hochsteuer‐) Ländern zu mindern. Deswegen endet das Papier mit der ganz generellen Feststellung, Unternehmen allgemein sollten am Ort des Umsatzes besteuert werden …

Weiterlesen ->
eigentümlich frei (PDF, 300kb)

Vernon Smith Prize 2018 – Award Ceremony

Prince Michael of Liechtenstein (left), Paul Künzle, Mateusz Urban, Sebastian Ariel Abella and Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein (right).

On February 4, the 11th Vernon Smith Prize was awarded in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The award ceremony took place in the Hofkellerei Vaduz. In their essays, the young contenders dealt with the pros and cons of genetic engineering. The winner was the Argentine Sebastian Ariel Abella.

Students from all over the world wrote essays in the run-up to the 11th Vernon Smith Prize on “Obscured by Fake News: The Politics, Morals, and Limits of Genetic Engineering”. They focussed on the socio-political relevance, the moral importance and the limits of genetic engineering. A panel of experts examined all submitted essays and selected the three best ones. The works were judged on logic, content stringency and scientific depth. In addition, the candidates must not have exceeded the age of 30 …

The Winners of 2018

1st Price: Sebastian Ariel Abella

2nd Price: Mateusz Urban

3rd Price: Paul Künzle

The 11th 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 2018:

Obscured by Fake News:
The Politics, Morals, and Limits
of Genetic Engineering

Vernon Smith Prize 2018
Vernon Smith Prize 2018 – Call for Papers

Biotechnological procedures, including genetic modification have been employed successfully in the course of millennia for the making of vital medicines or for selective breeding to generate much of our daily foodstuff. We have used these techniques also in refining plants, in the production of alcoholic beverages, cheeses or for manufacturing garments. And yet, Biotechnology in general and especially Genetic Engineering are subject to controversy, widespread misinformation, and remain shrouded in mystery, characterized by vague apprehensions and common superstitions. Whereas in conventional breeding methods only more or less the same species can be crossed with each other, Genetic Engineering deals with the isolation, characterization, and recombination of genetic material. Although, this new development has endured the extensive rigor of scientific method, together with academic peer-review concluding empirically in support of the new science, the application and commercialization of genetic engineering innovation in the food system from a business perspective are worthy of debate and have policy considerations. For many, Genetic Engineering is a seminal achievement that can be used for life saving drugs, improvements of the environment and GMOs could even help feed the world. Others consider it an untested and dangerous intrusion into nature that needs to be regulated or even outlawed by politics.
We invite papers on this topic addressing not only the socio-political relevance and the moral implications of Genetic Engineering. But also the implications of possible regulations and even limitations of scientific research on the whole.

First Prize: €4,000

Second Prize: €3,000

Third Prize: €2,000

All entries needed to meet the following requirements:
1: Entries to be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2018).
2: Entries not to 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 to be submitted in English in electronic form (pdf) including a current CV with DoB.
4: Deadline was November 30, 2018.
5. It was mandatory that all three prizewinners participated in the award ceremony in Vaduz.

Vernon Smith Prize 2018 Preisverleihung

Am 4. Februar wurde in Vaduz der 11. Vernon Smith Prize verliehen. Die jungen Preisträger befassten sich in ihren Essays mit den Chancen und Risiken der Gentechnologie. Sieger wurde der Argentinier Sebastian Ariel Abella.

Prinz Michael von und zu Liechtenstein, der Drittplatzierte Paul Künzle, Mateusz Urban (2.) und Sieger Sebastian Ariel Abella sowie S. D. Prinz Philipp von und zu Liechtenstein (v.l.)

Die Preisverleihung fand in der Vaduzer Hofkellerei statt. Studierende aus aller Welt verfassten im Vorfeld des 11. Vernon Smith Preises Essays zum Thema “Obscured by Fake News: The Politics, Morals, and Limits of Genetic Engineering”. Sie setzen sich darin mit der gesellschaftspolitischen Relevanz, der moralischen Bedeutung und den Grenzen der Gentechnologie auseinander. Eine Fachjury sichtete die eingereichten Essays und wählte schliesslich die drei besten aus. Die Essays wurden nach Logik, inhaltlicher Stringenz und Wissenschaftlichkeit bewertet. Zudem durfte der Kandidat das 30. Lebensjahr nicht überschritten haben …

Lesen sie den gesamten Beitrag hier ->
Gentechnik, Fluch oder Segen?
(Liechtensteiner Vaterland, 5. Feb. 2019; PDF)