Bastiat Prize for Journalism

Publish Date: Jun 08, 2015

Deadline: Jul 31, 2015

Often described as sensible, eloquent, and witty, the collected works of the great Frédéric Bastiat demonstrate that simple, illustrative examples can make complicated concepts accessible to anyone. His understanding of economics and its fundamental relationship to the rule of law is de rigueur for anyone interested in property rights and free markets. And as Bastiat himself wrote, “The solution to the problems of human relationship is to be found in liberty.”

In the enduring spirit of Frédéric Bastiat’s brilliant work, the Bastiat Prize for Journalism is given to writers who educate readers by employing Bastiat’s simple, eloquent and witty explanations of complex economic ideas, combined with a clear understanding of markets and their underlying institutions.

Established in 2002 by the International Policy Network, the Bastiat Prize is now in its 14th year.

The Mercatus Center’s Robert Graboyes is the winner of Reason Foundation’s 2014 Bastiat Prize, which honors the writing that best demonstrates the importance of individual liberty and free markets with originality, wit, and eloquence. 

“Bob Graboyes’ concise, witty explanations of the power of technology and dangers of government interference perfectly exemplified the essence of the prize; he is a modern day Bastiat,” said Julian Morris, vice president of Reason Foundation and founder of the Bastiat Prize. 

Graboyes received $10,000 in prize money and engraved crystal candlesticks at the Reason Media Awards in New York City. The Australian’s Adam Creighton and Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe tied for second place and split $6,000. 

Previous Bastiat Prize winners include Lane Filler, Ross Clark, Virginia Postrel, Anne Jolis, Tom Easton, Bret Stephens, John Hasnas, A. Barton Hinkle, Amit Varma, Jamie Whyte, Tim Harford, Mary O’Grady, Robert Guest, Brian Carney, Sauvik Chakraverti and Amity Shlaes.

Bastiat Prize Rules

  • The Bastiat Prize for Journalism ("BPJ") is open to all writers, anywhere in the world; writers need not be full time journalists or associated with any specific publication.
  • The total prize fund is $16,000, divided between first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third ($1,000) prize winners.
  • Entrants must submit their entries through the online entry form on Reason’s website.
  • All articles entered for the BPJ must have been published in print or online (or both).
  • Articles may comprise or include the transcript of a radio or television broadcast if that transcript has been published in print or online.
  • In the case of a question about the legitimacy of an article, the author will be consulted and a final decision will be made by Reason Foundation.
  • Entries must comprise between one and three articles.
  • Entries must not exceed 5,000 words in total.
  • Articles must have been published in English.
  • Articles must have been published for the first time June 30, 2014 and July 31, 2015.
  • Entries must state clearly the name of the publication where each article appeared and the date each article was published.
  • Consideration will be given to the articles on the following criteria: intellectual coherence; persuasiveness; wit and creativity; relevance; clarity and simplicity; wider impact.
  • Authors must nominate themselves, although submissions may be made by an assistant on the author's behalf with his/her consent.
  • If some or all articles are available to view online, entrants are encouraged to provide a URL for the articles.
  • In all cases, an electronic copy of each article (in either .txt, .rtf, or .pdf format) must be uploaded through the submission form. If you encounter problems with the form, then these should be emailed to
  • Entries must be received on or before July 31, 2015.
  • The finalists’ articles will be sent to the judges, a list of which will be made available on Reason’s website.
  • The decision of the judges and Reason Foundation will be final.
  • Finalists will be invited to a prize dinner in New York City on November 10, 2015. (While attendance is encouraged, it is not obligatory to receive the prize.)
  • The following individuals and their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children), significant others, and household members are not eligible to enter the Bastiat Prize for Journalism: First Prize winners of the Bastiat Prize of Journalism from the past three years; Directors, staff, and regular columnists of Reason Foundation; current Judges of the Bastiat Prize.
  • Articles commissioned, edited and/or placed by Reason Foundation are not eligible for the BPJ.
  • Articles published exclusively by Reason Foundation are not eligible for the BPJ.

Reason Foundation reserves the right to clarify and/or modify these rules as needed. Entrants will be notified of any changes to the rules.

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United States