Student Essay Contest

Join the conversation, showcase your ideas on public policy, and enter our essay contest for the chance to win the grand cash prize! Winning essays may be published in Fraser Institute journals and authors will have the opportunity to experience the peer review process.

Student Essay Contest

2023 Essay Contest - What would our Essential Scholars say about the world today?

Unprecedented is a word that has been used repeatedly to describe all aspects of the last two years: global pandemic, centralized lockdowns, overwhelmed health care facilities, high inflation, revolutionized AI, war in Ukraine, etc. Governments often respond to remarkable moments in history by creating policies they feel would help address the situation. What insight can our Essential Scholars series offer the current situations and events? Relying on the ideas of one of our Essential Scholars, construct an essay that describes a scholar’s response, explanation, or rebuttal to a current event. You can use a scholar’s economic theory to examine unprecedented situations, propose potential policies that a scholar would have put forward, or suggest how certain existing policies would have been adapted by a particular Essential Scholar.

Example Questions:

  • What would Milton Friedman argue should be a government’s response to inflation?
  • In a post-COVID world, what would Jane Jacobs say about the state of our cities?
  • How does James Buchanan’s thoughts on public choice theory apply to the economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine?
  • How can Joseph Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction help us understand the rise and fall of businesses?
  • What would one of the Essential Scholars say about Canada’s current housing and rent situation?

Learn more about essay contest requirements and submssion process by reading our 2023 Contest Rules and FAQ Student Essay Contest 2023.

Visit to read our Essential Scholars books online and watch the accompanying videos.

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2023

New Categories and Prizes:

PrizesHigh SchoolUndergraduateGraduate
1st Prize$1,500$1,500$1,500
2nd Prize$1,000$1,000$1,000
3rd Prize$750$750$750
4th Prize$500$500$500
5th Prize $250$250$250

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2022 Essay Contest Winners

 1st Place ($1,500)
High School CategoryJack Millos,
West Point Grey Academy
UndergraduateAllison Knee,
Memorial University of Newfoundland
GraduateIsabella Giancola,
Columbia University
 2nd Place ($1,000)
High School CategoryIrene Berezin,
Westmount High School
UndergraduateShal Marriott,
Carleton University
GraduateSamuel Yacob,
Caleton University
 3rd Place ($500)
High School CategoryLucas Orfanides,
St. Augustine Catholic High School
UndergraduateLucas Lazzaroni,
University of British Columbia
GraduateJerred Kiss,
Harvard University

Previous winners archive:

2021 Student Essay Contest Winners

2020 Student Essay Contest Winners

2019 Student Essay Contest Winners

2018 Student Essay Contest Winners

2017 Student Essay Contest Winners

2016 Student Essay Contest Winners

2015 Student Essay Contest Winners


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