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
Economic Theory
The media have been excited by two American management academics, Leah Sheppard and Stefanie Johnson, who claim to find that highly attractive women are not rated as trustworthy as less attractive women and men. The implication of much of the discussion seems to be that attractive women are discriminated against. I have doubts about this study, ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
High pay has been a political concern for more than a quarter of a century, but this concern is growing as we learn more and more about what other people are paid. The political winds have changed: where Labour’s Peter Mandelson was ‘intensely relaxed’ about high pay, the Conservatives’ Caroline Nokes now thinks nobody should ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
It didn’t take long until the first hammer-and-sickle flags were spotted at the climate change strikes. Given the woeful environmental track record of socialist economies, socialism and environmentalism should not be natural bedfellows. In practice, they usually are. The reason is that socialists and environmentalists often start from the same place: an intuitive, visceral dislike ... Continue reading
According to a recent YouGov survey, one in four people think a No Deal Brexit would be a good outcome, and another 13 per cent see at as at least acceptable. The option of leaving the EU without a deal enjoys the support of a significant minority, both on its own terms, and when directly ... Continue reading