$1,000 For Best Graduate Student Paper & Presentation at the Annual Meetings of The Public Choice Society, the Elinor and Vincent Ostrom Prize is awarded to a graduate student each year for the best-combined paper & presentation at the Annual Meetings of the Public Choice Society. Elinor and Vincent Ostrom both served as Presidents of the Society. The naming of this Award recognizes their ceaseless dedication to working with graduate students to improve both their writing and presentation skills.

Selection Procedures:
The Prize is selected according to a two-stage procedure. First, eligible papers are ranked by a selection committee composed of PCS Executive Committee members and senior members of the Society. The top three papers advance as finalists to the second stage, in which finalists present their papers and benefit from having accomplished and distinguished scholars assigned as discussants. The presentations are evaluated by a prize committee composed of the Society President, the Society Executive Director, the paper selection committee, and discussants.

The Prizewinner is announced and recognized during the conference at the Saturday Awards Luncheon. An award letter, commemorative plaque, and honorarium will be sent by mail after the conference. A press release will be disseminated to media outlets, academic journals affiliated with the Society, and to the winner's university.

To be eligible, candidates must meet three requirements. First, candidates must have their paper proposals accepted onto the conference program according to the Call for Papers procedures. Second, candidates must upload their papers to the conference website by the deadline listed on the Call for Papers page. Papers not uploaded by the deadline will indicate the choice to opt out of the contest. Finally, candidates must be graduate students in good standing at the time of the Annual Meetings. Note: papers co-authored with non-students are not eligible; however, papers co-authored only by students are eligible and are most encouraged to apply.

2024 Winner:

- Benjamin Broman, Ph.D. Student in Political Economy and Political Institutions, Duke University, "Counterproductive cooptation? Religion, institutional change, and resistance in the Scottish Highland Clearances"

2023 Winner:

- Tegan Truitt, Ph.D. Student in Economics, George Mason University, "Singapore: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the State"

2023 Finalists:

- Ugurcan Evci, Ph.D. Student in Political Science, University of California at Irvine, "The Toss of a Coin: Electoral Policymaking in Turkey from 1980 to 2018"

- Francisco Alberto Castellanos Sosa, Ph.D. Student in Public Policy, University of Texas at Austin, "Immigration and Income Inequality in the United States"

2022 Winner:

- Jessie Bullock, Harvard University, "Machine Gun Politics: Why Politicians Cooperate with Criminal Groups"

2022 Finalists:

-Valentin Lindlacher, ifo Institute Munich, "No Surprises, Please: Voting Costs and Electoral Turnout"

-Henry Thompson, George Mason University, "Cosa Nostra Courts"

2021 Prize: Regrettably, the 2021 Prize competition was canceled.

2020 Winner:

- Mark Hup, University of California - Irvine, "Corvée Labor and State Expansion in Colonial Indonesia"

2020 Finalists:

- Daniel Gibbs, Ph.D. student in politics at Princeton University

- Bruno Baranek and Vitezslav Titl, Ph.D. students in political economy at Kings College London

2019 Winner:

- Anna Gunderson, Emory University, "Why Do States Privatize their Prisons? The Unintended Consequences of Inmate Litigation"

2019 Finalists:

- Steven Johnson, Clemson University, "The Effect of State-Level Welfare Policy on Disability Acceptance Rates"

- Kaetana Leontjeva, King's College London, The Fiscal Truth: Personal Fiscal Information Curbs Enthusiasm for Tax and Spend

2018 Winner:

- James Strickland, Ph.D. Student in Political Science at University of Michigan, “The Contingent Value of Relationships: Revolving-Door Lobbyists in the U.S. States”

2018 Finalists:

- Perry Ferrell, Ph.D. Student in Economics, West Virginia University, “Titles for Me But Not for Thee: Transitional Gains Trap of Property Rights Extension in Colombia”

- Jahen Rezki, Ph.D. Student in Economics, University of York, “Political Competition and Local Government Performance: Evidence from Indonesia”

2017 Winner:

- Dodge Cahan (Ph.D. student in economics at University of California San Diego): "Electoral cycles in government employment: Evidence from US gubernatorial elections"

2017 Finalists:

- Rosolino Candela (Ph.D. student in economics at George Mason University): "The Political Economy of Italian Unification in Sicily: Insecurity of Property Rights and the Role of Land Reform"
- Charles Delmotte, (Ph.D. student in legal and political philosophy, Ghent University): "The Political Economics of Tax Exemptions: Tax Uniformity as a Constitutional Principle"

2016 Winner:
- Pierre Mandon (Ph.D. student in Economics at CERGI, University of Auvergne): "Political budget cycles: Manipulation of leaders or bias from research?" co-authored with Antoine Cazals

2016 Finalists:
- Helena Helfer (Ph.D. student in Economics at University of Münster): "Prosperity-enhancing Institutions: Towards a Comprehensive Composite Index"
- Eric Hammer (Ph.D. student in Economics at George Mason University): "Endowment Effects in Evolutionary Game Theory: Enhancing Property Rights"

2015 Winner:

Caitlin Ainsley (Ph.D. student in Political Science at Emory University): "Does Central Bank Independence Improve Monetary Policymaking?"

2015 Finalists:
- Conor Lennon (Ph.D. student in Economics at University of Pittsburgh): "The Individual-Specific Incidence of Mandated Benefits: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act"
- Vlad Tarko and Kyle O'Donnell (Ph.D. students in Economics at George Mason University): "Escape from Europe: A Calculus of Consent Model of the Origins of Democracy in North America"

If you are a graduate student whose paper has been accepted for presentation on the program, you are eligible to apply for limited financial assistance to partially offset your expenses for attending the conference. Once eligible students' paper have been accepted onto the program, they will receive an email with application instructions.

Best Paper Awards in Public Choice

Each year in the weeks leading up to the annual meetings of the Public Choice Society, the editors of Public Choice select the winners of two awards for the best papers published in the journal during the previous calendar year. The winners are selected by consensus amongst the associate editors and the editor in chief. The awards are announced formally at the Society's plenary luncheon, at which time the authors are recognized for their contributions to the journal.

The Duncan Black Prize
for Best Paper in Public Choice by a Senior Scholar

Sponsored by the Society

Past winners:
2023: Casey Mulligan (University of Chicago), “Beyond Pigou: externalities and civil society in the supply-demand framework” Public Choice 196 (July 2023), 1-18.
2022: Christian Bjornsok (Aarhus University) and Stefan Voigt (University of Hamburg), “Emergencies: on the misuse of government powers” Public Choice 190.1-32 (January 2022)
2021: Jeremy Horpedahl (University of Central Arkansas), "Bootleggers, Baptists and ballots: coalitions in Arkansas’ alcohol-legalization elections." Public Choice 188 (1–2) (July 2021), 203–219.
2020: Jarosław Flis, Wojciech Słomczyński & Dariusz Stolick (all of Jagiellonian University), "Pot and ladle: a formula for estimating the distribution of seats under the Jefferson–D’Hondt method," Public Choice 182 (1–2) (January 2020), 201–227.
2019: Abel François (University of Lille) and Olivier Gergaud (KEDGE-Bordeaux Business School), “Is civic duty a solution to the paradox of voting?” Public Choice, 180(3–4), 257–283.
2018: Sean Gailmard (University of California Berkeley) and Jeffrey A. Jenkins (University of Southern California), "Distributive politics and congressional voting: public lands reform during the Jacksonian era," Public Choice 175(3–4) (June 2018), 259–274.
2017: Gyung-Ho Jeong (University of British Columbia), “The supermajority core of the US Senate and the failure to join the League of Nations,” Public Choice 173(3–4) (December 2017), 325 –343
2016: John Matusaka (University of Southern California), “Ballot-Order Effects in Direct-Democracy Elections”, Public Choice 167(3-4), 257-276
2015: Andrew T. Young (West Virginia University), “From Caesar to Tacitus: changes in early Germanic governance circa 50 BC–50 AD” Public Choice, 164(3–4), 357–378
2014: Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay and Bryan C. McCannon, "The effect of the election of prosecutors on criminal trials," Public Choice 161(1–2): 141–156.
2013: Ronald W. Batchelder and Nicolas Sanchez, “The encomienda and the optimizing imperialist: an interpretation of Spanish imperialism in the Americas,” Public Choice 156(1–2): 45–60.
2012: Thomas Apolte, “Why is there no revolution in North Korea? The political economy of revolution revisited,” Public Choice 150(3–4): 561–578.
2011: Kai Konrad and Wolfgang Leininger, Self-enforcing norms and efficient cooperative collective action in the provision of public goods, Public Choice 146(3-4): 501-520.
2010: Abhinay Muthoo and Kenneth A. Shepsle, Information, institutions and constitutional arrangements, Public Choice 144(1-2): 1-36.
2009: Thomas Stratmann, How prices matter in politics: the returns to campaign advertising, Public Choice 140(3-4): 357-377.
2008: Kevin B. Grier, US presidential elections and real GDP growth, Public Choice 135(3-4): 337-352.
2007: Keith T. Poole, Changing minds? Not in Congress!, Public Choice, 131(3-4): 435-445.
2006: Ronald Wintrobe, Extremism, suicide terror, and authoritarianism, Public Choice 128(1-2): 168-195.
1990: [Note: The Duncan Black Prize was established in the early 1990s and we are trying to piece together all the awardees and their paper titles.]

The Gordon Tullock Prize
for Best Paper in Public Choice by a Junior Scholar

Sponsored by continuing gifts from Springer.

Past winners:
2023: Gavin Roberts (Weber State University) and Rik Chakraborti (Christopher Newport University), “How price-gouging regulation undermined COVID-19 mitigation: county-level evidence of unintended consequences” Public Choice 196 (July 2023), 51-83.
2022: Martin Rode (Universidad de Navarra), "The institutional foundations of surf break governance in Atlantic Europe" Public Choice 190.175-204 (January 2022)
2021: Louis Rouanet (Western Kentucky University), "The interest group origins of the Bank of France." Public Choice 186 (1–2) (January 2021), 119–140.
2020: Christophe Lévêque (University of Bordeaux), "Political connections, political favoritism and political competition: evidence from the granting of building permits by French mayors," Public Choice 184(1–2) (July 2020), 135–155
2019: Perry Ferrell (West Virginia University), “Titles for me but not for thee: transitional gains trap of property rights extension in Columbia.” Public Choice, 178(1–2), 95–114.
2018: to Rosolino A. Candela (George Mason University) and Vincent J. Geloso (Bates College), "The lightship in economics," Public Choice 176(3–4) (September 2018), 479–506
2017: Keith E. Schnakenberg (Washington University in St. Louis), “The downsides of information transmission and voting,” Public Choice 173(1–2) (October 2017), 43–59
2016: Jayme S. Lemke (George Mason University), “Interjurisdictional Competition and the Married Women’s Property Acts”, Public Choice 166(3-4), 291-313
2015: André Schultz and Alexander Libman (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management), “Is there a local knowledge advantage in federations? Evidence from a natural experiment” Public Choice, 162(1–2), 25–42
2014: Mark Koyama, "The law & economics of private prosecutions in Industrial Revolution England," Public Choice 159(1–2): 277–298 and Emily C. Skarbek "The Chicago Fire of 1871: a bottom-up approach to disaster relief," Public Choice 160(1–2): 155–180
2013: Adam Martin and Diana Thomas, “Two-tiered political entrepreneurship and the congressional committee system,” Public Choice 154(1–2): 21–37
2012: Michael Ensley, “Incumbent positioning, ideological heterogeneity and mobilization in US House elections,” Public Choice 151(1–2) (April 2012): 43–61.
2011: Michael Peress, Securing the base: electoral competition under variable turnout, Public Choice 148 (1-2): 87-104.
2010: Daniel J. D'Amico, The prison in economics: private and public incarceration in Ancient Greece, Public Choice 145(3-4): 461-482.
2009: Yogesh Uppal , The disadvantaged incumbents: estimating incumbency effects in Indian state legislatures, Public Choice 138(1-2): 9-27.
2008: Keith L. Dougherty and Jac C. Heckelman, Voting on slavery at the Constitutional Convention, Public Choice 136(3-4): 293-313.
2007: Justin Buchler, The social sub-optimality of competitive elections, Public Choice, 133(3-4), 439-456.
2006: John-Charles Bradbury and Joseph M. Johnson, Do supermajority rules limit or enhance majority tyranny? Evidence from the US states, 1960-1997, Public Choice 127(3-4): 437-449.
2005: Jac C. Heckelman, A Spatial Model of U.S. Senate Elections, Public Choice 118(1-2): 87-103

The James Buchanan Distinguished Fellow Award

In years when a suitable recipient is identified, the Society awards its highest academic honor to a member with the designation of James Buchanan Distinguished Fellow. This award is meant to recognize a member whose efforts have made significant contributions over a sustained number of years to the Society and/or to public choice scholarship. The James Buchanan Distinguished Fellow will be announced during the awards luncheon and give a plenary address at the annual meetings.

2024: None selected.

2023: Inaugural Recipient: Kevin B. Grier, Texas Tech University.

The Society Emerging Scholar Award

(To be established): The Emerging Scholar Award will be presented every other year to a young scholar whose emerging body of work has made a significant contribution to the advancement of public choice research. The Executive Committee selects the winner and presents the award biennielly at the Society's plenary luncheon.

The Society Prize for Meritorious Service

(To be established): The Meritorious Service Award is granted to an individual or organization whose efforts have made significant contributions to the Society or the dissemination of public choice scholarship. The Executive Committee selects the awardee in years when a suitable recipient is identified, and presents the award at the Society's plenary luncheon.