$1,000 For Best Graduate Student Paper & Presentation at the Annual Meetings of The Public Choice Society, generously sponsored by a continuing gift from The Institute for Humane Studies.


The Vincent and Elinor 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. Vincent and Elinor 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. 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, and discussants.

The Prize winner 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.

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 continuing gifts from the editors of Public Choice

Past winners:
2016: To be announced at the Awards Luncheon of the 2017 Annual Meetings, March 4, 2017.
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:
2016: To be announced at the Awards Luncheon of the 2017 Annual Meetings, March 4, 2017.
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 Society Distinguished Scholar Award

(To be established): Each year The Society's Executive Committee will select The Distinguished Scholar Award, presented to a member of the Public Choice Society who has made significant contributions over a sustained number of years to advancing public choice scholarship. The award will be announced at the Society's plenary luncheon.

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.