January 15, 2020 Reading Time: < 1 minute

It is my pleasure to announce the winners of the Sound Money Project Essay Contest.


First Prize – $10,000
Bryan Cutsinger
On the Feasibility of Returning to the Gold Standard

Second Prize – $2,000
Karl-Friedrich Israel 
The Fiat Money Illusion: On the Cost-efficiency of Modern
Central Banking

Third Prize – $1,000
Hossein Nabilou 
Testing the Waters of the Rubicon: The ECB and Central Bank Digital Currencies

Participants were asked to address the following prompt:

In 1971, President Richard Nixon ended convertibility, thereby eliminating the last vestiges of the gold standard. The classical gold standard, which prevailed from 1873 to 1914, had anchored inflation expectations, enabled long term contracting, and promoted international trade. This historical experience has prompted several reconsiderations of resumption over the years, including the Gold Commission in 1980, the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission of 1998, and, more recently, calls for a Centennial Monetary Commission. What are the merits of returning to the gold standard? Is such a system feasible today?

The Sound Money Project Essay Contest is designed to promote scholarship in monetary and macroeconomics. More specifically, it aims to encourage those working at the cutting edge of the discipline to consider the monetary institutions that would reduce nominal disturbances and promote economic growth.

William J. Luther

William J. Luther

William J. Luther is the Director of AIER’s Sound Money Project and an Associate Professor of Economics at Florida Atlantic University. His research focuses primarily on questions of currency acceptance. He has published articles in leading scholarly journals, including Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Institutional Economics, Public Choice, and Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. His popular writings have appeared in The Economist, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. His work has been featured by major media outlets, including NPR, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, TIME Magazine, National Review, Fox Nation, and VICE News. Luther earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University and his B.A. in Economics at Capital University. He was an AIER Summer Fellowship Program participant in 2010 and 2011.

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