Economic Theory

Matt Ridley wins IEA Free Enterprise Award


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Author and columnist, Matt Ridley, wins the 2014 IEA Free Enterprise Award

The Institute of Economic Affairs is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2014 Free Enterprise Award is Viscount Ridley, acclaimed author of The Rational Optimist and columnist for The Times.

The prestigious award is given to the person judged to have made the greatest contribution to the market economy in the past year. This year’s award will be presented by Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne, at a ceremony held at Metro Bank.

The decision to present Matt Ridley with this year’s award is based upon his writings for The Times and his insight into critical issues such as the regulation of the UK economy, energy policy and inequality. He has been praised for his unique ability to communicate his message whilst conveying a well-grounded optimism about the future.

Commenting on the award, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Matt Ridley has made many important interventions to promote free-market policy ideas in areas as wide-ranging as energy, the environment and income distribution. As an author and a columnist, he has dispelled the myth that the future is nothing but bleak and has provided a much needed sense of optimism surrounding the prospects of future generations.”

Commenting on the award, Matt Ridley, author and columnist for The Times, said:

“I am deeply honoured and thrilled to receive the free enterprise award in succession to many remarkable people. As a writer I am acutely aware that the evidence of past decades and centuries is that free enterprise not only makes people wealthier, healthier and wiser, but kinder, cleaner and indeed greener as well. I am humbled to know that my work is appreciated in this way.”

Notes to Editors:

For any enquiries, please contact Camilla Goodwin, Communications Officer: 0207 799 8920 or 07821 971 443.

The Free Enterprise Award – first presented to Sir Keith Joseph in 1975 – is given to the person judged to have made the greatest contribution to the market economy in the past year – as a businessman, journalist, academic, think tanker or other intellectual. The winner is chosen by a panel of IEA trustees and staff, supporters and journalists.

The presentation of the Free Enterprise Award is on the evening of Tuesday 22 July 2014. The award will be presented by Kwarsi Kwarteng and hosted by Metro Bank, whose founder, Vernon Hill II received last year’s award.

The distinguished list of winners includes luminaries such as Sir Richard Branson and Baroness Thatcher, Professor F A Hayek, Rt Hon Lord Lawson of Blaby, Martin Durkin and Allister Heath.

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.