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
Research

The example of financial services

There are frequent calls for financial markets to be more actively regulated. In nearly all cases it is assumed that regulation must come from state agencies such as the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. This analysis arises from neo-classical, market-failure approaches to economics which suggest that the market does not maximise welfare ... Continue reading
Research

...and the lessons we can learn

Education reforms that allow new educational providers to supply schooling into a state system can improve parental satisfaction and raise learning outcomes through consumer choice. Private school choice programmes in the US have been shown to strengthen the civic virtues of young citizens. Choice provides children with schooling that matches their interests. A child engaged ... Continue reading
Research

Opportunities and challenges for UK agriculture

This paper examines the current state of UK agriculture and makes recommendations as to what the long term goals of a UK agricultural policy could be, after the UK leaves the EU, in a way that maximises the potential benefits of a genuinely independent agricultural policy, while minimising the disruptions caused by leaving the EU. ... Continue reading
Research

IEA Financial Services unit releases report outlining the unintended consequences of MifID II regulations

MiFID II, together with MiFIR (Regulation (EU) No 600/2014), was intended to create a more transparent, competitive and integrated financial market in the EU by reducing trading outside regulated markets, increasing protection for investors and consumers, and improving financial stability. The Directive harmonises the EU regulatory regime with respect to organisational requirements for investment firms, ... Continue reading
Research

State or Market?

Summary: Medical and nursing care have been separated from social care by deliberate design since the creation of the NHS. This is true with regard to the institutional and policy frameworks and also with regard to how care is provided in practice. This divide, even if once justified, is now entirely artificial. People spend far ... Continue reading
Research
Summary In contrast to the recent past when even Labour politicians were ‘intensely relaxed’ about high pay, there is now widespread concern about the apparent excesses of some pay structures in corporate businesses. Top pay has risen much faster than average levels of pay in the last twenty years. This is in part the consequence ... Continue reading
Research

An economic analysis of the Treasury’s treatment of privately rented housing

Summary: The private rented sector has played a critical role in increasing and improving housing provision in the UK. Around 80 per cent of private sector tenants are satisfied with their homes and satisfaction in the sector compares favourably with that in the social rented sector. This contribution has gone unrecognised: instead, landlords have been ... Continue reading

Shadow Monetary Policy Committee votes to hold bank rate

At its second full meeting of 2019, held in April, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by a narrow margin to keep Bank rate at 0.75%. Five voted to hold rates and four voted for a ¼ point rise. Four main reasons were given by those voting to keep rates at 0.75%. First, raising ... Continue reading