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
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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
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