Halifax, NS, 12 May 1997 — The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) has been recognized with a distinguished international prize for the release of its first book Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth: The Impact of Federal Transfers on Atlantic Canada by the Institute’s Senior Policy Analyst, Fred McMahon.
A jury of some of the world’s leading economists, including a Nobel Laureate, awarded the Sir Anthony Fisher Memorial Prize to AIMS for publishing the book that, in their collective opinion, made the greatest contribution to public understanding of the economy.

Policy institutes in forty countries throughout the world are eligible for the prize of which two are awarded annually, one for institutes less than five years old, the other for older and more established institutes. AIMS won in the “new institute” category.

The Prize includes a cash award of $10,000 US.

McMahon’s controversial book shows how a massive increase in federal subsidies in the early 1970s, and the distortions the subsidies created, knocked Atlantic Canada off its path of accelerating economic growth and how federal cutbacks over the past few years have removed the distortions and allowed Atlantic Canada to regain some of its momentum.

“McMahon’s book did two remarkable things,” said AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley. “First, it showed in a detailed and well-documented way what many people in the region had suspected for years, namely that the huge government presence in the region politicizes the economy, inflates the region’s costs and leads people and businesses to look to government support rather than to their own abilities. He then went on to show how orderly reform of federal transfers will help to overcome these challenges.”

“We are naturally delighted at this recognition of the Institute’s groundbreaking work,” said Crowley. “Having so many prestigious international authorities in the public policy field endorse McMahon’s book will cause many people in the region to think afresh about how damaging federal government transfers have been to Atlantic Canadians. It will also make them more aware of the alternatives to our high degree of dependence that Gift Horse sets out.”

The Fisher Awards celebrate and honour the life, ideals and achievements of the late Sir Anthony Fisher by recognising public policy institutes that produce outstanding publications. Sir Anthony, a decorated WWII fighter pilot and innovative entrepreneur, is best remembered as the founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London.

The judges who awarded the Sir Anthony Fisher Memorial Prize to AIMS are:

James Buchanan, co-originator (with Gordon Tullock) of public choice economics, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Alejandro Chafuen, an Argentine economist, President of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Virginia.

Israel Kirzner, a distinguished Professor of Economics at New York University.

Norman Macrae, the former Deputy Editor of The Economist newspaper and widely published author on the themes of economic and social change.

Antonio Martino, former Foreign Minister of Italy and now Professor of Economics at the University of Rome.

E.G. West, an internationally recognised authority in the field of the economics of education. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Carleton University in Ottawa.

For further information contact:

Brian Lee Crowley, President of AIMS, (902) 466-4809 or Fred McMahon, AIMS’ Senior Policy Analyst, (902) 428-1899