IEA wins Templeton Freedom Award for groundbreaking work on poverty


Press Release
Monetary Policy

Prof Philip Booth comments on the latest inflation figures

Received in the 'Free-market solutions to poverty' category

The Institute of Economic Affairs is the proud recipient of a 2011 Templeton Freedom Award, received in the category of ‘Free-market solutions to poverty’.

Through a range of publications in the past two years – including Transforming welfare – incentives, localisation and non-discrimination and the groundbreaking A New Understanding of Poverty– the IEA has greatly contributed to the debate on how poverty can best be tackled.

Winners this year were drawn from five continents. The 16 recipients in the various categories were chosen from over 183 applications from 48 countries by an independent panel of expert judges.

Named after the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Freedom Award was established in 2003 and is the largest international prize program that celebrates think tank contributions to the understanding of freedom.

Announcing the winners, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation said:

“Despite being the oldest organisation of its kind, the Institute of Economic Affairs proves that it is as vibrant and relevant as ever with the IEA Poverty Project. Spearheaded by Kristian Niemietz, the Poverty Project has produced no less than eight IEA publications, seven external publications and one comprehensive academic study, which was published in the Journal of Public Policy. The Poverty Project has been widely lauded as debate changing work, receiving frequent mentions in Britain’s national print and television media. There are few studies of free market solutions to poverty that are as high quality and as fundamentally robust as the Poverty Project.”

Commenting on the award, Prof Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the IEA said:

“The Institute of Economic Affairs began its poverty project three years ago. Having published important work on the measurement of poverty, we are now in the stage of developing serious proposals for free-market solutions to poverty. We must take this debate from being the natural territory of the interventionists who propose precisely the policies that lead to higher poverty. In particular, we must defeat the argument that simple cash transfers are the best way to solve poverty.

“The groundbreaking work produced by Poverty Research Fellow Kristian Niemietz has successfully argued that the measurements used to define poverty are often arbitrary judgments rather than being based on an objective understanding of the material position of the poor. Through a better understanding of what we actually mean by ‘poverty’, we will be better equipped to deal with the root causes, rather than simply trap people in a cycle of welfarism.

“The Institute of Economic Affairs will continue to demonstrate how free-market principles can offer solutions to poverty and it is an honour to have our work recognised in this way.”

Notes to editors

To arrange an interview with Prof Philip Booth, IEA Editorial Director, or Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Officer, 020 7799 8900, [email protected].

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.