The Vincent & Elinor Ostrom Prize awards $1,000 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 Public Choice Society. The naming of this Award recognizes their ceaseless dedication to working with graduate students to improve both their writing and presentation skills, a dedication that is captured nicely in the documentary film about the Ostroms by Barbara Allen.
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.
I have this great memory of Bobbi Herzberg, Mario Villarreal, Pete Calcagno and I sitting down to drinks in Hong Kong during the 2014 MPS meetings. I had a concept for the Ostrom Prize in mind, and I thought for sure that I was right. After arguing about it for an hour, those three beat me down, and we arrived at the current concept for the Prize. I’m really proud of what we came up with — i.e., of what Pete, Bobbi, and Mario convinced me was the best way to structure the prize. I also feel like those three have some ownership, more so than I do. Nonetheless, it’s gratifying to see the PCS Ostrom Prize doing so well. This year drew a field of 23 paper entries from graduate students in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. A panel of judges reviewed the papers, and a final round of three was selected as finalists. The finalists presented their papers at the annual meetings, with senior public choice scholars as discussants.
The 2017 runners-up are:
- 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”
And the winner of the 2017 Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Prize is Dodge Cahan (Ph.D. Student in Economics at University of California at San Diego) for his paper “Electoral cycles in government employment: Evidence from US gubernatorial elections”.