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14th International Vernon Smith Prize 2021 – Call for Papers


The Pretense of Knowledge
as a Method of Governance

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Socrates
The International Vernon Smith Prize is an essay competition  for the advancement of Austrian Economics. Sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).

Essay Competition | Call for papers!

Due to the fact that it is not immediately obvious why governments should not imitate the methods of the so-called hard sciences to design the perfect policies or practices of governance, politicians and their advisors became captivated with the advancement of science and the enormous processing power of computers. As a result, they were persuaded to confuse the precision of mathematical models and their collected piles of quantifiable data with their factually rather limited knowledge about how societies work. Fooled into believing that statistics based on stored data are the most critical, governments are busy to rearrange them, compute averages or draw erudite charts in order to propose their solutions. However, as people demand results, politicians eager to satisfy the public often conspicuously announce their ‘scientifically’ looking solutions that often worsen the problems. Overconfidence in the methods of the hard sciences to control society can easily turn democracies into tyrannies and will lead to the destruction of a free society, which is the result of human action, but not of human design.
This ‘Pretense of Knowledge’ is not only a serious threat to individual freedom and democracy as it alludes to a pretended competence to design and execute a centrally planned society. It is also dangerous for both methodological and policy reasons. However, societies of free people are a living, changing, moving web of disparate actions and entities. And as long as individuals remain free every law, every institution and every human action is composed of countless subjective judgments and motivations of independent individuals interacting with one another without coercion.

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

All entries must meet the following 5 requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2021).
2: Entries may not exceed 12 pages, including a full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch.
3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) to and must include a current CV with Date of Birth.
4: Entries must be received on or before 22 November, 2021.

It is mandatory that all prize winners to participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein) in 7 February 2022.

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, Principality of Liechtenstein on 7 February, 2022.

The International Vernon Smith Prize has been established in 2008 by ECAEF for the advancement of Austrian Economics. It is named after Professor Vernon Lomax Smith (born on January 1, 1927). He is professor of economics at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law in Orange, California, a research scholar at George Mason University Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center, all in Arlington, Virginia. Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman. He is also the founder and president of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, a Member of the Board of Advisors for The Independent Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C.

Save The Date! 16th Gottfried v. Haberler Conference – 20 May 2022

On the Morality of the State
and the State of Political Morals

Über die Hybris der Staaten und den Zustand politischer Moral

Gottfried von Haberler Conference | The 16th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference will finally take place on 20 May 2022 at University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Conference topic: On the Morality of the State and the State of Political Morals. The event will be organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation. The support of the University of Liechtenstein and multiple local and international sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.

By invitation only

Admission: General CHF 150/Euro 150; Students CHF 50/Euro 50

Academic Director: Kurt R. Leube
Tel. +1 650 248 4955 and Tel. +43 676 942 8980 (krleube at

Administration: Rosmarie Lutziger
Tel. +423 235 1570 (Rosmarie.Lutziger at

Media Matters: Karin Brigl
Tel. +423 235 2344 (karin.brigl at

Conference Program:
09:00-09:30 Registration
09:30-09:45 Welcome and Opening by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Session I:
Behind a Democratic Veil: A new Centralism and a Downfall of Standards

May20, 2022, 09:45-10:00  Chair: Peter Fischer (CH)
10:00-10:30  “Democracy as Practiced is Flawed: The New Machiavellianism” – Pedro Schwarz (ES)
10:30-10:45  Discussion
10:45-11:15  Coffee break
11:15-11:45  “Der zunehmende Zentralismus in der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik” – Lars P. Feld (D)
11:45-12:00  Discussion
12:00-13:30  Buffet Luncheon for all participants at conference site

Session II:
On Autocratic Tendencies and the Erosion of Individual Freedom

13:30-13:45  Chair: Hardy Bouillon (D)
13:45-14:15  “Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms” – Terry L. Anderson (USA)
14:15-14:30  Discussion
14:30-15:00  “Über ein drohendes Bargeldverbot und die Folgen” – Thorsten Hens (CH)
15:00-15:15 Discussion
15:15-15:45 Coffee break

Session III:
On Power, Corruption and the End of the Rule of Law

15:45-16:00  Chair: Karl-Peter Schwarz (AT)
16:00-16:30  “The Separation of Powers as Cornerstone of Liberty under Law” – Chandran Kukathas (AUS)
16:30-16:45  Discussion
16:45-17:15  “Über den Rechtspositivismus und das Ende des Rechtsstaats” – Henrique Schneider (CH)
17:15-17:45  Discussion (general)
17:45-18:00  Closing Remarks by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
18:15-18:30  Transportation by bus to the cocktail reception at Vaduz Castle
18:30-19:45  Cocktail Reception at Vaduz Castle

Relevant literature is also offered for sale by

List of all Gottfried von Haberler Conferences since 2005

V. ECAEF/CEPROM Conference, Monaco 2021

9 December 2021

ecaef ceprom conference 2021
“People who intend only to seek their own benefit are led by an invisible hand to serve a public interest which was no part of their intention. I say that there is a reverse invisible hand: People who intend to serve only the public interest are led by an invisible hand to serve private interests, which was no part of their intention”. Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Principality of Monaco, 9 December 2021:

V. International

(An Academic Conference in honor of Jacques Rueff, 1896-1978)

by invitation only


“Is the Public Interest
really in the public’s interest?”

– with some Allusions to the Political Accountability –

Locally Organized and Hosted by
Center of Economic Research for Monaco (MC)

Conception, Arrangement and Academic Supervision:
European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (LI)

Musee Oceanographique de Monaco
Principality of Monaco

Academic Director: Kurt R. Leube (
Admin. Director, CEPROM: Emmanuel Falco ( and
Media Contacts:
Conference Date: December 9, 2021
Location: Musee Oceanographique de Monaco, Principality of Monaco
Conference Languages: English/French; simultaneous translation.

Conference Program

9 December, 2021, 09:00-9:30: Registration
09:30-9:45, Welcome: H.S.H. Prince Albert II and H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Session I (9:45-12:00)
On the Public Interest Concept: As a Method to judge Government Actions and Political Accountability.
09:45-10:00, Chair: Carlos A. Gebauer (D)
10:00-10:30: Free Markets, Economic Governance and the Public Interest – Michael Wohlgemuth (D)
10:30-10:45: Discussion
10:45-11:15: Coffee break for all participants
11:15-11:45: A false Dichotomy? The Public Interest and Inequality – Axel Kaiser (CL)
11:45-12:00: Discussion

12:00-13:45: Break

Session II (13:45-15:30)
On the Public Interest Concept: On its Meaning as an Economic Policy Function
13:45-14:00, Chair: Peter A. Fischer (CH)
14:00-14:30: Black Board Economics: The Public Interest and the Road to Leviathan – Terry L. Anderson (USA)
14:30-14:45: Discussion
14:45-15:15: In the Name of the Public Interest? Excessive Government Debt and ‘Unconventional’ Monetary Policies – Lars P. Feld (D)
15: 15:15-15:30: Discussion
15:30-16:00: Coffee break for all participants

Session III (16:00-18:00)
On the Public Interest Concept: As a Guide to and a Fact-Check on Public Policy Measures
16:00-16:15, Chair: Peter A. Fischer (CH)
16:15-16:45: Superstitions, Conjectures and Refutations: Inflation, High Debt and the Public Interest – Veronique de Rugy (USA/F)
16:45-17:00: Discussion
17:00-17:30: On the Zeitgeist, Political Accountability and the Public Interest – Johan Norberg (S)
17:30-17:45: Discussion
17:45-18:00: Closing Remarks – Kurt R. Leube (A/USA)
18:00: End of Conference

Please note: Some titles may change.
In the lobby and in the conference hall (Musee Oceanographique
de Monaco) you may be asked to wear a mask.

seven-day state mourning held For Princess Marie of Liechtenstein

H.S.H. Princess Marie of Liechtenstein (14 April 1940 – 21 August 2021)

H.S.H. Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, wife of the Ruling Prince Hans Adam II, died on August 21, 2021, in the presence of the family.
After receiving the last sacraments she passed peacefully and with great trust in God. RIP.

The Princess was born as Countess of Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau in 1940. 1967 she married the then Hereditary Prince Hans Adam. They have four children, Hereditary Prince Aloys, Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin and Princess Tatiana.

The commitment to people, generosity and humanitarian activities shaped the work of Princess Marie. She will be deeply missed. The loss of the Princess saddens the family and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

The ECAEF (European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation), Vaduz (LI) expresses its deepest condolences.

Essays in Honor of Terry L. Anderson

On August 14, Terry Anderson was handed a celebratory volume of ‘Save the Environment – Unleash the Markets’ comprising original essays commendable to honor Terry L. Anderson. The content of the book shows the profound international appreciation of Anderson’s seminal academic work in free market environmentalism and his unwavering commitment to private property rights.

Save the Environment – Unleash the Markets. Essays in honor of Terry L. Anderson ...
Save the Environment – Unleash the Markets. Essays in honor of Terry L. Anderson …

The title of the Festschrift reflects well his personal credo:  ‘Save the Environment – Unleash the Markets’. Anderson is a featured speaker at the International Gottfried von Haberler Conferences in Liechtenstein (LI) and the ECAEF/CEPROM Conferences in Monaco (MC). Both internationally renown conference series are organized by the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (ECAEF). 

This academic Festschrift was put together by ECAEF with support of the Liechtenstein Academy and the publishing house TvR in Jena.