Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards

Atlas Network is pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award is How China Became Capitalistby the late Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase and Ning Wang, Senior Fellow of the Ronald Coase Institute, and co-published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The authors argue that the decisions of China’s people, not its government, are to be credited with China’s economic success.

“Atlas is deeply honored to recognize this important book and also to honor the incredible life of Ronald Coase, whom we lost earlier this year,” said Brad Lips, Atlas Network CEO. “The past few weeks we’ve seen China’s government continue to make headlines for its intolerance towards ideas and opinions it doesn’t like. This book represents not only a work of serious economic history, but it is also makes a compelling call for a more open market for ideas in China.”

Published in 2012, the book makes new claims about the role of spontaneous private behavior in driving economic reforms, with the Communist Party moving slowly out of the way. The authors detail major, mostly unplanned shifts such as private farming, street-level exchange, and regional competition, the latter serving to transform China into “a gigantic laboratory where many different economic experiments were tried simultaneously.”

Tying China’s success to this liberalized market for goods, the authors warn China’s future success will depend on liberalizing the market for ideas, explaining, “As our modern economy becomes more and more knowledge-driven, the gains from free exchange of ideas are too great; the costs of suppressing it are too high.”

The award will be accepted by Ning Wang on November 13, 2013 during Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum in New York City. The award carries a prize of $10,000.

This is the 24th annual presentation of the Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award, named for the founder of the Atlas Network. Sir Antony Fisher was a successful businessman who founded the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, a major free-market think tank credited with ushering in a new era of classical liberal thought and policy in England under Margaret Thatcher.


24 years celebrating outstanding publications produced by independent public policy research institutes.

For his defense of freedom and dedication to liberty, Atlas’s founder Antony Fisher was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.  Only weeks after this great honor was bestowed upon him, Sir Antony passed away. In 1990, through the generosity of his relatives and many friends, Atlas established the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards to commemorate Fisher’s ideals and achievements.

The Fisher Award recognizes the institutes that published a book, magazine, report, monograph, or study that, in the opinion of the judges, made the greatest contribution to public understanding of the free society.

Five copies of the nominated publication must be submitted with a nomination letter and mailed to:
Atlas Network
c/o Gonzalo Schwarz
1201 L St NW,
2nd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005

Previous Winners

  • The winner of the 2012 Fisher Memorial Awards was Ann Bernstein, author of The Case for Business in Developing Economies. The award ceremony took place at The Atlas Experience, April, 2012.

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