Trade, Development, and Immigration
...continued from Part 1.   No discussion of globalisation would be complete without considering some of the myths that have over the recent years come to dominate the public discourse. Myth 1: “Globalisation puts downward pressure on wages.”  Globalisation is rarely the primary factor that fosters wage moderation in low-skilled work in developed countries. A ... Continue reading
Earlier this month, the Institute of Economic Affairs livestreamed the first episode of its new discussion programme Live With Littlewood. Unsurprisingly, one of the issues that came up was healthcare and health systems. The host, Mark Littlewood, raised the question of whether the Coronavirus pandemic might create some demand for international comparisons. Will people not ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The progress that free trade and globalisation have achieved are coming under severe threat from the Covid-19 pandemic. There are siren calls for increased state interference in economic life favoured by the political left, while right-wing populists are calling for increased protectionism or “de-globalization”. Never mind the abundant evidence which highlights the importance of strong ... Continue reading
This Sunday the Observer ran a frontpage story headlined ‘rightwing thinktanks call time on austerity era’. I was quoted in the article, wearing my IEA hat, as were representatives of the Adam Smith Institute, Centre for Policy Studies and Policy Exchange. As it happens, I am happy with the specific comments attributed to me, which ... Continue reading
It was Winston Churchill who reputably first said, "never let a good crisis go to waste", this in relation to the Yalta conference towards the end of WW2. In tribute, London is currently attempting to use the coronavirus pandemic to advance plans to pedestrianise large parts of the city centre. Not quite Yalta, but in ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Three months ago the UK labour market was doing better than at any time in recent memory, with record numbers in employment and very high labour force participation, while the unemployment rate was at its lowest since 1974. Now, however, we face a grim prospect. We have 7.5 million furloughed on the Coronavirus Job Retention ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
In late March, most African states copied the approach taken by many countries worldwide and implemented a mass lockdown that saw schools close, curfews put in place, and people largely confined to their homes. While this approach makes sense and has been, for the most part, feasible in other parts of the world, in Sub-Saharan ... Continue reading
As the UK economy enters the COVID-19 downturn, the Bank of England (BoE) continues to maintain that the UK banks are strongly capitalised. The BoE’s claims are not to be believed. As ex-Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) regulator Dean Buckner and I set out in our new report on the state of the UK banking system, ... Continue reading
As part of the transition from VIRCON-4 (lock-down) to VIRCON-3 (loosening) the UK government has advised those that need to travel to work to walk, cycle or use private vehicles, not public transport. The rail unions have underwritten this guidance suggesting capacity on services with social distancing (two metres apart) is only 10% and their ... Continue reading