Economic Theory
John McDonnell recently said that the Labour Party’s next manifesto had to be “really exciting, full of new ideas”. But some of the ideas we have seen floated recently are very far from new. Renationalising the utilities and repealing Thatcher-Major industrial relations legislation are just turning the clock back, as are demands for sectoral collective ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
If you are a socialist, and you are toying with the idea of writing a book – now is the time to do so. The “Millennial Socialism” craze has led to a proliferation of publications which, in one way or another, make the case that socialism has never been properly tried, and that we should ... Continue reading
Research

101 Great Liberal Thinkers

SCHOOL OF THOUGHT – 101 Great Liberal Thinkers profiles the lives and ideas of some of the leading thinkers on individual liberty – from ancient times to the present day. Award-winning author Eamonn Butler outlines key elements of liberal thought and takes a chronological look at those who shaped it across the centuries. He identifies ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Innovation levels and the Research and Development (R&D) efforts which underpin them in UK firms are integral to economic growth prospects.  In a recent article with colleagues I have been looking at what happened to UK firms’ innovation during and after the Great Recession, which started in 2008. Specifically, by looking at how patent volume, ... Continue reading

Dr Steve Davies speaks to ABC Australia

Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs, spoke to ABC Australia about his latest book, 'Wealth Explosion: The nature and origins of modernity'. Steve's book examines the reasons behind the situation - present for most of history - where people lived their lives in poverty, as their ancestors did, to ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
“Market failure” is constantly used by capitalism’s critics as justification for government spending, taxes and regulation. In policy areas ranging from schooling to the consumption of sugary drinks, claims that uncontrolled markets fail to achieve socially optimal outcomes empower advocates of various government policies to argue that intervention is economically necessary and beneficial. Yet there is a ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has declared that there will be a second independence referendum by 2021. This is not unreasonable given the major constitutional change of Brexit. There was a significant amount of comment by IEA authors around the time of the first referendum and then in the period afterwards. ... Continue reading
Several readers of my book Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies got back to me, arguing that the way I use the term “socialism” is too narrow, and too formulaic. My definition, they say, may be technically correct; the dictionary may indeed say that “socialism” means a state-run economy, based on public ownership of ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the former King of Bhutan, declared in 1972 that “gross national happiness (GNH) is more important than gross national product”. The Centre for Bhutan Studies dutifully constructed a survey-based measure of GNH, whose increase is now the goal of Bhutan’s five-year plans. Wangchuckism has slowly caught on outside of the happy Kingdom. ... Continue reading
Public service broadcasting should be removed from the public policy lexicon and the BBC should be privatised – though not necessarily fully commercialised. The concept of “public service broadcasting” might have been justifiable at one time: it is no longer. The vested interests that want to protect the current funding model of public service broadcasting ... Continue reading