The Department of Economics & Business Administration

Essay Contests

The Douglas B. Rogers Conditions of a Free Society Essay Competition


Prompt: Discuss Isaiah Berlin's quote: “But to manipulate men, to propel them towards goals which you—the social reformer—see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them.”

  • Due date: January 10, 2014

Carl Menger Undergraduate Essay Contest


"The purpose of the contest is to recognize and encourage undergraduate scholarship in the Austrian tradition and the broadly catallactic approach to social science which it represents, an approach common also to the Scottish Enlightenment of Smith and Hume, the French Liberal School of Say and Bastiat, the Virginia School of Buchanan and Tullock, the UCLA price theory of Alchian and Demsetz, and the Bloomington School of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, among others. Each year we invite essays that explore, advance, challenge, or apply the ideas of these and related schools of thought."

  • Deadline: September 2, 2014
  • Winners present at the Southern Economics Association Conference in November.
  • Prize: $500

Disruptive Innovation Case Writing Competition


"Participants are to write an original case study, with an accompanying teaching note, that focuses on a new or existing business or business venture that struggled or failed to succeed due to policies enacted by federal, state, and/or local governments. The case study should provide a detailed narrative account of a company or individual(s) throughout the process of business creation describing objectives, strategies, challenges, and results among others."

  • Deadline: December 1, 2013
  • Prize: $1,000 for first place, $600 for second place, and $350 for third place
  • Winning submissions will be considered for an expedited review process with the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy for revision and publication.

Thorpe-Freeman Blog Contest


"The Freeman aims to inspire, educate, and connect. If you've come away from one of our articles thinking there was more to say on an issue, we want to hear about it. If it's particularly compelling, we'll reward you—to the tune of $250 and publication in the online version of The Freeman. So enter your blog post into the Thorpe-Freeman Blog Contest and join the conversation!"

  • Deadline: The contest opens on the first business day of each month and closes by the 25th of each month.
  • Prize: $250

5th Annual iOme Challenge


"The 2013-2014 iOme Challenge consists of two parts: an essay and a video that illustrates the key elements of the essay. We encourage students to form teams with individuals some of whom have policy expertise and some others with video production skills. Team members can come from different educational institutions. Each team of students must have a faculty advisor, and the faculty advisors are encouraged to use this contest as a part of their class curriculum."

  • Prompt found on website.
  • Prize: The top prize is $10,000 to the winning student team and $2,000 to that team's faculty advisor. The winning team will also be invited to Washington D.C. to present their entry to various policymakers.