Research

A system of private banks ensures stability without a central bank

Summary:  In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Scotland had a stable financial system. Its stability arose from the pressure that private banks, which had the right to issue bank notes, placed on each other to behave prudently. Unlike in England, the Scottish banking system had no central bank. If one bank within the ... Continue reading
Research

IEA Brexit Unit releases report on US UK trade deal

Summary:  The US is likely to be at ‘the front of the queue’ for a new trade deal with the UK after Brexit. This would require the UK to escape the constraints of the EU’s Customs Union and also be free to diverge from EU regulations. But if these two conditions are not met, many ... Continue reading
Research

Remaining in a customs union could be backdoor to keeping many obligations of the Single Market

Summary:  Like most decisions about Brexit, the choice of future customs arrangements is about getting the trade-offs right. Remaining in a customs union with the EU would not just prevent disruptive border checks. It would also allow tariff-free trade to continue after the UK left the Single Market, and could make it easier to replicate ... Continue reading

City must avoid complacency & embrace flexibility to prosper post-Brexit

Summary:  As the world’s leading international financial centre, London faces fascinating opportunities as well as some significant challenges in coming years. This is as a result of Brexit, increased international competition from other global financial centres, such as New York, and the changing face of finance itself. London has much to be positive about but ... Continue reading
Research

Heavy handed regulation of ticket resales would be of scant benefit

Summary:  The reselling of tickets for events has a long history, dating back at least to Roman times. Such secondary markets in tickets are no different from other kinds of secondary market, and serve the same purpose: to correct flaws in the initial primary market. In recent years, new technology has led to the appearance of many ... Continue reading
Research

Markets will do a better job than state regulation

Summary:  The rise of the ‘tech giants’ is, of course, a significant commercial threat to more traditional media, but it also raises some potentially important issues of public policy. These companies have variously been accused of facilitating the spread of ‘fake news’ and extremist material, dodging taxes, and exploiting their market dominance. In reality, ‘fake ... Continue reading
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