Essay Contest Rules

Please read all of the APEE Essay Contest rules before submitting your manuscript.

Submission Details

Send your completed manuscript, in Word or WordPerfect, as an attachment to Ashley Harrison ( on or before December 1. The essay must be in English.

In addition to sending the article as an attachment, you must include your name, mailing address, and the university or school that you attend. Finalists will be required to provide evidence that they are full-time students and that they are 25 years old or younger. At that time, a photocopy of your student identification card will be required.

If you have any technical or logistical questions about the contest (if, for example, the links to the listed articles don’t work), you may contact Jane Shaw at


Your essay should be between 1000 and 2000 words. Significantly longer essays will not be considered. Essays will not be returned. Winning essays (including honorable mentions) will become the property of APEE and may be published in print or electronically.

Your essay can be about any one of the three topics listed below. After each topic, there is a short discussion that should help you prepare your essay, as well as a few articles that may be helpful as you address the topic. You do not have to use the same title, and your essay can cover a portion, rather than all, of the topic.

What Causes Prosperity?
What is the Role of Ethical Behavior in a Free Market?
Can Free Markets Protect the Environment?

Contestants’ essays will be judged on the basis of the clarity of the writing, the quality of the thinking they reflect, and the extent to which they recognize or incorporate one or more relevant ideas suggested by the supporting articles, especially the first three online articles. You do not have to agree with the ideas in the supporting articles (and you do not have to read all the articles that are mentioned), but the judges are looking for thoughtful essays that reveal that the writer has considered the benefits of free economies.