Research

Averting a post-pandemic staffing crisis in the NHS

Summary Shortages of PPE and ventilators have overshadowed shortages of doctors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet when normality returns and the NHS is swamped by a backlog of cases, the latter could be thrust to the forefront of public debate. The UK ranks 27th out of 36 OECD countries for number of physicians. Around 30 ... Continue reading
Research
Entrepreneurs play a pivotal role in boosting progress, productivity and prosperity. They drive economic growth and create new opportunities. Their innovations transform people’s lives. Yet their enormous contribution is not widely understood – and is often completely overlooked in economics textbooks. Here, author Eamonn Butler sets the record straight – explaining the vital role of ... Continue reading
Updated 29th November 2020.   Summary Most COVID-19 infections appear to take place in private households. Less than five per cent of infected individuals contacted by NHS Test and Trace say that they have had close contact with another person in a hospitality venue. Enforced pub closures in Bolton and Leicester have not been associated ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Following the Covid-19 lockdown, the UK labour market faces much higher unemployment and reductions in labour force participation as some groups withdraw from the labour market. Measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employment Income Support Scheme served a useful purpose, but governments cannot keep businesses on life support indefinitely. Job ... Continue reading
Research
Conditions for growth are not a mystery – we have seen them in the UK in the recent past. This paper examines the UK’s historical record, and identifies the best-performing periods in the past 40 years under two criteria: rising real government revenue and rising labour productivity. It then reviews the economic policies which facilitated ... Continue reading
Summary The World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE) have been widely criticised for their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Serious questions have been asked regarding their competence. As a result, the US government has withdrawn its funding from WHO and the UK government has announced that Public Health England will be disbanded. ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Socio-economic systems should be understood as ‘complex’ phenomena that cannot effectively be controlled or managed through central planning. In general, markets and other decentralised governance mechanisms that rely on competition and signalling are better placed to facilitate learning and adaptation in conditions of complexity. Pandemics such as the new coronavirus are also complex systems ... Continue reading
Research

Reshaping the UK's Higher Education for the post-pandemic world

Summary Covid-19 is bursting the bubble in universities and higher education (HE), exposing the fundamentally unsound nature of the policy of successive governments and of the entire array of HE institutions. Many institutions were in a weak financial position prior to the pandemic. They are now facing a massive cash-flow crisis. The present difficulties could ... Continue reading
Research
Summary Covid–19 is provoking a major reorientation of the foreign policy of the US and Europe. At the heart of this is their changing relationship with China. Before the Coronavirus there were concerns over the actions of the Chinese government, but the pandemic has given rise to fears of a new Cold War. These fears ... Continue reading
In its meeting of 14th July 2020, held by video-conference due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) elected, by a vote of nine to zero, to hold rates in August. Five members favoured holding Quantitative Easing (QE) at its current level. Two favoured reducing QE. Three expressed a bias to raise ... Continue reading