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2014 Fraser Institute International Essay Contest for Students

The Fraser Institute invites essay submissions from High school students, undergraduates, and graduate students around the world for the 2014 Fraser Institute Essay Contest.

The essay contest is aimed at helping students to showcase their ideas on public policy and the role of markets. Each year the Institute holds a competition for students, designed to encourage and develop student writers. Your essay should use historical perspective, empirical evidence, and economic analysis to examine these or other questions regarding drug policy reform.

 Topic: The rise of crony capitalism: how government and business gain at the taxpayers’ expense

In recent years, we have seen a call for more government intervention, and a movement against capitalism, to save the economy from failing market forces. However, it can be argued that it is not capitalism, but crony capitalism, that is hindering economic recovery. While these two terms are fundamentally opposed, they are often confused by the general public.

Crony capitalism occurs when government and businesses collude to create advantages for some at the expense of others. It distorts market competition and can promote reckless behavior, leading to power and money shifts, and creates unequal opportunities for those involved. Crony capitalism can take several forms, including taxes, tariffs, subsidies, price controls, regulations, and bailouts. Society pays the economic and socials costs of cronyism. These costs include corruption, reduced competition, less business and job opportunities, inflated prices, and a general decrease in economic activity.

Using a historical perspective (as opposed to a hypothetical), empirical evidence, and economic analysis, examine a form of crony capitalism and the cost that it imposed or still imposes on society as a whole. You can use a specific example, or many, to argue your case, or, examine crony capitalism in a broader context. Your essay does not have to include Canadian examples.

Categories and Prizes:

High School
1st Prize: $1,500
2nd Prize: $1,000
3rd Prize: $500

Undergraduate
1st Prize: $1,500
2nd Prize: $1,000
3rd Prize: $500

Graduate
1st Prize: $1,500
2nd Prize: $1,000
3rd Prize: $500

Application Rules:

  • The contest is open to Canadian and foreign students, studying in Canada or abroad. A student is defined as someone who attends school in the 2013/2014 school year.
  • Submissions will be considered from secondary and post-secondary (undergraduate and graduate) students in all disciplines.
  • There will be three separate categories: high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. The category definitions are based on your status in the 2013/2014 school year; for example, if you are an undergraduate student from fall 2013 until spring 2014, you qualify in the ‘Undergraduate’ category.
  • Entry must include a typed essay of 1,000-1,500 words, and a cover sheet including the student’s name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. High school students should include school and grade. Post-secondary students should include school, major, and year of graduation.
  • Online entries may be submitted as a Word or a PDF document. Finalists will be required to send their essay as a Word document, if they have not already done so.
  • Entries must include references cited from academic sources. Any academically acceptable referencing style may be used.
  • The cover page, references and image/graph captions are not included in the word limit.
  • 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.
  • Entries may be submitted online using the application form above or by regular mail.
  • If you have a foreign postal code or telephone number that is not accepted on the online application form, please write it in the Comments box, and use ‘X1X 1X1’ or ‘123-123-1234’ in the actual postal code or telephone number field.
  • Entries may only be submitted once. Further submissions with revisions will not be accepted.
  • Failure to follow these rules may lead to disqualification from the contest.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, clear expression of ideas, and understanding of competitive markets.
  • All entries 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.

For more information call: 1-800-665-3558, ext. 526 or email claire.jones@fraserinstitute.org

Deadline: The deadline is 5:00 pm (PST) on May 30, 2014.

Click here for more information and click here to apply online.