Showcase your ideas on public policy and the role of markets by entering our essay competition. $9,000 in cash prizes will be awarded with $3,000 of this is designated just for high school students! Winning essays may be published in Fraser Institute journals and authors will have the opportunity to experience the peer review process.
Categories and Prizes:
|1st Prize: $1,500||1st Prize: $1,500||1st Prize: $1,500|
|2nd Prize: $1,000||2nd Prize: $1,000||2nd Prize: $1,000|
|3rd Prize: $500||3rd Prize: $500||3rd Prize: $500|
2018 Essay Contest – Increasing the Minimum Wage: Good Intentions, Bad Policy?
The idea of raising the minimum wage in Canada and in some jurisdictions in the United States is a contentious topic. Proponents of a higher minimum wage tout that such increase will be an effective tool for helping those in poverty. But a recent study by the Fraser Institute found that 88% of minimum wage earners in Canada do not actually live in low-income households. In fact, nearly 60% of these earners are young adults aged 15-24, most of whom are living with their parents or other relatives. Additionally, research has found that about 70% of the benefits from a higher wage go to non-poor households in Canada.
Beyond the misperception that the majority of the benefits from an increase in the minimum wage would go to low-income earners and the most vulnerable, raising the minimum wage has been shown to lead to reductions in employment, particularly for young people and immigrants.
While constructing your essay, consider the following questions:
- Should provincial governments increase the minimum wage?
- What impact would such an increase have on the Canadian economy?
- Is raising the minimum wage an effective way to provide assistance to vulnerable Canadians?
- Is there an alternative to raising the minimum wage that targets low-income earners more precisely?
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: June 1, 2018.
2017 Essay Contest Winners
St. George's School
Heather Lynn Bone,
University of Waterloo
Andrew Klain, University of Calgary and Avery Maloney, Mount Allison University
Celine Mano and Jacquie Ye,
St. Francis Secondary School
Jean Philippe Fournier,
University of Montreal
Mountainside Secondary School
The winning essays from the 2017 contest will appear in the Winter Canadian Student Review Magazine.
2018 Essay Contest Rules
Previous winners archive:
2016 Student Essay Contest Winners
2015 Student Essay Contest Winners
2014 High School Student Essay Contest Winners
2014 Graduate and Undergraduate Essay Contest Winners
2013 Student Essay Contest Winners
2012 Student Essay Contest Winners
2011 Student Essay Contest Winners
2010 Student Essay Contest Winners
2009 Student Essay Contest Winners
UIL Academics is proud to sponsor two essay competitions that provide exciting opportunities for students to explore the contributions of historically underrepresented groups to the history and culture of Texas. With a focus on original research and the use of primary sources, students are encouraged to look to their own communities in finding topics for their essays.
Both competitions are open to all students in grades 9-12 attending UIL member high schools. All entries submitted according to contest guidelines will be evaluated by experienced judges. State finalists will be selected from the entries submitted for each competition. Students selected as state finalists will be considered for state awards and have the opportunity to have their work added to the historical record of the state of Texas. All students selected as state finalists will also become eligible to apply for TILF scholarships; the TILF program provides dozens of scholarship opportunities each year.
Specific guidelines for entries are provided on the page for each competition as specified below.
Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition
Founded in 1995 as an event sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin, the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition moved to its new home with UIL Academics in 2011-2012. The competition provides students an opportunity to explore the contributions of African Americans to Texas history, as well as honoring the legacy of its namesake, Barbara Jordan. The theme of the competition is "African Americans in Texas: Past and Present."
Latino History Essay Competition
Founded in 2011 by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT-Austin, the Latino History Essay Competition has found a new home with UIL Academics beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. In its initial year the competition was open to students in South Texas; beginning with 2012-2013 entries will be accepted from students statewide. The theme of the competition is "historical and cultural legacies of Latinos in Texas history."