Economic Theory
I can only assume that Netflix is bidding for rights to Brexit: The Saga. You might as well download the past 48 hours’ worth of news coverage, upload to the streaming site, and advertise it as how Breaking Bad would have unfolded if set in Westminster instead of New Mexico. The news is pure entertainment. Arguably, that’s ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics

The IEA responds to the Obesity Health Alliance call to ban food products

Responding to the Obesity Health Alliance's call to ban a range of food products from supermarket checkouts, aisles and entrances, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said: “This policy is already part of this Government's draconian obesity strategy. The Obesity Health Alliance is merely trying to drum up some ‘grass roots’ ... Continue reading
Research

IEA's International Trade and Competition Unit releases briefing on the Backstop

Summary:  The provisions of the Protocol deliver what has become known as the ‘backstop’ for the Irish border. They come into effect if no other agreement that addresses the issues in connection with the Irish border has been reached by the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020, or any extension of that ... Continue reading

IEA reacts to Government's draft Withdrawal Agreement

The IEA today releases a briefing which summarises the key points of the 585-page draft Withdrawal Agreement the Government has put forward. The briefing makes the case that while the proposed deal would help to minimise some of the disruption that might be caused by the UK's departure from the EU, it could make it harder ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
How has the Royal Mail fared since its privatisation in 2013? As with previous partial privatisations, the government moved a quasi-monopoly industry into the private sector – yet key elements of the former system remain in place. Royal Mail maintains requirements to collect and deliver throughout the UK six days a week – and the ... Continue reading
My biggest beef with the European Union has always been the way it stifles consumer-friendly innovation in the interests of incumbent businesses and organisations. Yesterday’s victory for Sir James Dyson at the European General Court lays bare an especially shocking example. Dyson’s case, which has taken five years in the courts, reveals just how corrupt ... Continue reading

IEA releases report on innovation in agriculture

Britain’s agricultural productivity has stagnated at a time when the world needs to double food production to keep up with the growth of the population, according to a new IEA report.  Two papers, written by Matt Ridley and David Hill, set out how innovation in farming can lead to higher crop yields, while also releasing land ... Continue reading
Research

UK must embrace innovation to make farming economically & environmentally viable, says new IEA report

Innovation in farming has led to higher crop yields which, in turn, have allowed more land to be spared from farming than would otherwise have been the case. Raising yields further to feed a growing global population will require new technologies to be embraced, including genetic modification, gene silencing and editing, as well as developments ... Continue reading
Regulation
Why has Nigeria failed to fulfil its huge potential for wealth creation and economic growth? In a recent presentation to policy-makers at the Nigerian Bar Association's Annual Conference, I made the case for diversifying the economy away from oil – concentrating instead on the pivotal tasks of ensuring a stable and adequate power supply; addressing ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
In a now-famous essay, “What is Seen and What Is Not Seen”, the great economist Frederic Bastiat warned against judging the value of any activity in a vacuum. Bastiat’s “broken window fallacy” brilliantly exposes a common tendency to focus on the visible, tangible benefits of an action – the “seen” – while neglecting the “unseen” penalties and ... Continue reading