Research

Why we can't all work from home

In recent years there has been a trend towards greater incidence of homeworking. This has been driven by enhanced technological possibilities, but also by supply and demand factors as employers try to save on office costs and workers seek to reduce travelling time and have a different work-life balance. There is some evidence that homeworking ... Continue reading
Research

Analysing Britain's regulatory burden

In our political discourse there is much discussion of red tape, frequently phrased in terms of ‘challenges’ and ‘bonfires’ to reduce and cut it. Supporters of free markets often have a general feeling that there is too much regulation or that it is too intrusive, badly formulated and ineffective. However, proponents of these positions are ... Continue reading
Research

A critique of paternalism

A ban on opening a new supermarket is evidence that people want a new supermarket, for if they did not there would be no need for a ban. The same is true of chlorinated chicken, gambling machines and many other products and activities that we are told need to be banned or restricted. It is ... Continue reading
Research

Why banning energy drinks doesn't make sense

The government has proposed a ban on the sale of energy drinks to minors on the basis that these products have high levels of sugar and caffeine, and can be damaging to health. Many energy drinks are low in sugar or contain no sugar at all. Even full sugar energy drinks do not contain more ... Continue reading
Research
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is currently the subject of much interest and discussion in the UK, with support and opposition from several parts of the political spectrum. Although currently modish this is actually an idea that has been around for a long time and was first formulated over two centuries ago. ... Continue reading
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