Research
This short paper, originally published by the IEA in August 2018, was revised, expanded and re-released to coincide with the 30th anniversary  of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Mirage of Democratic Socialism reiterates the classical liberal critique of socialism. It does so in a format which is slightly unusual for IEA publications, namely ... Continue reading
Research
Actual and perceived problems associated with privatised utilities have led to some public disenchantment with these businesses. Polls suggest that there is a popular majority for renationalising them, and there is some cross-party support for this. Examination of these industries suggests grounds for concern over aspects of their recent operation. However, other criticisms are not ... Continue reading
Research
Innovation is a very important source of economic growth. It increases productivity and creates wealth by freeing up resources to be used for other activity and hence more output. Despite its economic importance, innovation is still not fully understood and is difficult to predict. In pre-modern societies, institutions and practices worked against innovation. Their main ... Continue reading
Research
This study calculates how much UK foreign aid was spent (in 2018 prices) on lifestyle interventions targeting smoking, drinking, eating and sedentary behaviour.UK taxpayers spent £44.6million on ‘nanny state’ foreign aid projects between 2005 and 2018, spread over 35 projects in 47 countries. The three biggest recipients were China (£7.9million), India (£2.2 million) and Colombia ... Continue reading
Research

IEA Current Controversies 71

There is a long history of governments and incumbent vested interests restricting competition in broadcasting for their own ends. Those interests have subtly changed the definition of public service broadcasting in a way that seems to serve producer interests rather than being helpful in informing good public policy debate. The current definition of public service ... Continue reading
Research
The opportunity before the UK as a result of Brexit is, this paper proposes, a great one: but if the UK squanders it, what has been described as the ‘new normal’ of limited economic growth could prevail, with an EU system that does not appear to be responding on a competitive level to the challenges ... 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
Research

Why the policy of food reformulation is hard to stomach

Under the UK government’s policy of ‘reformulation’, food products are subject to government targets for the reduction of salt, sugar and calories. It puts Public Health England in the position of monitoring and effectively regulating the composition of virtually every part of the prepared food supply, including not only ready-meals and supermarket biscuits but also ... Continue reading
Research

How to solve the United Kingdom's housing crisis

The United Kingdom’s housing costs are now among the highest on earth, the economic and social impacts severe. Since 1970, the average price of a house has risen four and a half-fold after inflation. No other OECD country has experienced a price increase of this magnitude over this period. London is virtually the most expensive ... Continue reading