Research

Proportion of UK employees needing a licence to work has doubled in the last 15 years

Summary:  Around one in five UK employees requires a licence from government to practice their chosen occupation. This proportion has probably doubled in the last fifteen years. A further fifth of workers are certified by government agencies, and such certification is often necessary for employment. Occupational regulation is usually justified by the need to protect ... Continue reading
Research

IEA Brexit Unit responds to the news that the Brexit talks are moving to phase two

Summary:  The EU has confirmed that phase 2 of the Brexit talks, covering the future relationship, can now begin. However, there are still no clear answers to the challenges posed by the unique position of Ireland. The UK has committed, subject to specific conditions, to maintain ‘full alignment’ with the rules of the single market ... Continue reading
Research

It's time to let London black cabs set their own rules

This paper seeks to contribute to the deliberations of the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licensing. Summary Price and quantity regulations, as well as statutory vehicle and driver standards, for the taxi and PHV sector have long been justified on grounds of imperfect information (OECD 2008). The nature of ... Continue reading
Research

IEA & John Mills publish report on the pros and cons of devaluing the pound

Foreword: John Mills is one of Britain’s most stimulating economic thinkers. Unusually, he has many decades of practical business experience and is also more commonly associated with the political left than the right. It is therefore an immense pleasure to engage with him on some of the most important challenges facing the UK economy today. ... Continue reading
Research

IEA Brexit Unit releases briefing on Brexit divorce bill

Summary:  The Brexit ‘divorce bill’ is supposed to settle existing obligations, rather than cover the cost of any future agreements. Some therefore argue that it is simply a matter of honouring past debts and the UK should just pay up. The problem with this approach is that there is no legal certainty over what it ... Continue reading
Research

Equal Pay Day calculation is fundamentally misleading

Summary:  While the official gender pay gap figure is 9.1% for full-time workers, the pay gap between men and women aged 22-39 is negligible. The gap widens later in life, often as a result of women taking time out of the workplace to raise children, and returning to work in a part-time capacity, reducing future ... Continue reading
Research

New book from the IEA is a comprehensive challenge to paternalism

If you would like a copy of 'Killjoys' please donate £10 to the IEA here and a copy will be sent to you. *Offer ends 18th December 2017. Delivery to the UK and Ireland only.* Summary:  Eating sugary food, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are legal activities. But politicians still use the law to discourage them. ... Continue reading
Research

The Dubious Case for Free School Breakfasts

Summary:  The Conservative Party’s manifesto for the June 2017 general election included a policy to replace free school lunches with free school breakfasts for all school children. After the election, the policy was abandoned. The Conservative manifesto justified the policy by appealing to research into the educational effects of free school breakfasts conducted by the ... Continue reading