December 2, 2009 Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sound Money Essay Contest

* The Deadline for The Essay Contest has been extended! Submit your essays to on or before January 15th, 2010.

A Monetary System for the Free Society

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation is proud to sponsor an essay contest for students, young faculty, and policy writers, who are concerned about the cause of Sound Money.


– The overall winner of the Essay Contest will receive a cash prize of $5000.
– Two additional prizes of $1000 each will be given to outstanding essays written by junior faculty, graduate students, or policy writers.
– Three additional prizes of $500 each will be given to outstanding essays written by undergraduate students.


January 15, 2010

Essay Topics:

– “Money and the Free Society: Can Money Exist Outside of the State?”
– “The Ethical Implications of Monetary Manipulation”
– “Monetary Policy and the Rule of Law in the United States”


In an effort to reduce the chances that the U.S. population will again suffer the consequences of the boom and bust policies promoted by the bureaucracy controlling monetary policy, Atlas has launched a new Sound Money Project.

An enlightened citizenship, aware of the immorality of the state manipulating money and credit, is the most secure barrier against the arbitrary destruction of savings and misallocation of investments. It is to this end that Atlas is holding an essay contest in order to raise awareness and promote knowledge about sound money, and to identify young talents whose keen understanding of this subject will, hopefully, steer the direction of monetary policy toward sound free-market principles.

Participants in the essay contest must address one of the Essay Topics listed above (or a combination of them). Please consult Atlas’s Sound Money Resource Page for a list of reference materials, which can be useful for the preparation of your essay. Please read all of this page, including the sections on Eligibility and Essay Guidelines, before submitting your paper.


To be eligible to win a prize within the Sound Money Essay Contest, you must be a legal resident of the U.S. or engaged as a full-time student in the U.S. You must also be no more than 35 years old on the date of the contest deadline (January 15th, 2010). Atlas welcomes involvement of older and non-U.S. scholars in its discussions and ongoing work on Sound Money, but this Essay Contest is targeted to the audience described above.

Essay Guidelines:

– Essays must be written in English
– Must have a cover page with the essay’s title and the name of the author. The pages of the itself must not display the name of the author.
– Essay must be at least 1500 words but no more than 8000 words.
– Essay must be an original work written by the submitter and must not have been previously published elsewhere.
– Atlas prefers a writing style which is accessible to the educated laymen, but rigorous enough as to be used in college and university courses.
– Atlas prefers well-researched papers with references and footnotes that back up assertions, but we note that our judges are not looking for the paper with the most footnotes.
– Winning essays will become the property of Atlas and may be published in print or electronically.

Judging Criteria:

Contestants’ essays will be judged on the basis of clarity of writing and quality of thought. We recommend consulting the supporting books and articles, mentioned on Sound Money Resource Page. You do not have to agree with the ideas in the supporting material (and you do not have to read all the books and articles that are mentioned), but the judges are looking for thoughtful essays that reveal that the writer has considered the benefits of free economies.

Submitting Your Essay:

Email your completed essay, in Word or WordPerfect, as an attachment to on or before January 15, 2009. In your email, you must include your name, mailing address, and the think tank, university or school that you wish to list as affiliation.

If you have any questions about the contest, or feedback about our larger work on Sound Money, please contact Priscilla Tacujan at