Economic Affairs
Subscribe to Economic Affairs Contents Introduction (pages 341–342) by J.R. Shackleton Central Bank or Monetary Authority? Three Views on Money and Monetary Reform (pages 343–356) by Frank Decker Indirect Convertibility, Equity-Based Banking and Financial Stability (pages 357–364) by David Cronin How Functional is the Eurozone? An Index of European Economic Integration Through the Single Currency ... Continue reading

Response to possibility of 'no deal' scenario

Summary:  A 'no deal' scenario, in which the UK simply leaves the Single Market and Customs Union in 2019, does not have to be the 'catastrophe' that many fear. There would be some new barriers to trade with the EU, but these should be manageable.  On the upside, the UK would be able to crack ... Continue reading

IEA's Brexit Unit releases paper making the case for free trade

Executive summary:  From 1990 to 2010, free trade helped a billion people lift themselves out of extreme poverty. But the pace of liberalisation has since slowed and protectionism is back in fashion. Fortunately, Brexit provides a golden opportunity for the UK to become a global champion of free trade again. This is potentially a win-win ... Continue reading

Global economic freedom up slightly; UK ranks 10th among 159 jurisdictions

The United Kingdom ranks 10th out of 159 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2017 Annual Report. The UK's ranking is unchanged from last year's. Executive Summary:  The index published in Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of ... Continue reading

IEA Brexit Unit reacts to the Prime Minister's speech in Florence

Summary: In narrow terms, the Prime Minister's Brexit speech in Florence can be judged against two tests. First, will the offers on the financial settlement and citizens' rights represent 'sufficient progress' to allow talks on the future relationship to begin at last? And second, will the plan for a two-year transition period be enough to ... Continue reading
In its e-mail poll for September - the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by eight votes to one to raise Bank rate. This decision marks the 4th consecutive month that the committee has voted for a rise by this margin. The overwhelming consensus amongst members is that the economy is expanding fast enough to ... Continue reading

'No deal' with EU on trade post Brexit does not mean disaster for the UK

Summary:  The primary objective of trade policy should be to promote the interests of UK consumers, not producers. The UK’s best post- Brexit trade policy should therefore be to trade as freely as possible with the rest of the world. Free Trade would bring considerable benefits to the UK. These benefits include lower consumer prices, ... Continue reading

UK will pay almost £25 billion in 'sin taxes' next year

Summary:  This discussion paper provides the first estimate of the net effect of smoking on UK taxpayers per annum. Up until now, estimates have used a methodology that typically includes intangible costs, including costs to smokers themselves, while ignoring tangible savings to the state and tax revenues from tobacco duty. We estimate a net saving ... Continue reading

SMPC votes eight / one to raise bank rate in August

At a quarterly face-to-face meeting in July, the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) voted by eight votes to one to raise Bank rate. This was the second consecutive vote by the Committee to raise rates by this margin. In a lively and well-attended discussion, the case for a rate rise was made by the majority on ... Continue reading

Taylor review fails to factor in costs to employees of proposed interventions

Summary:  The Taylor Review should be commended for recognising the success of the UK’s flexible labour market and for refusing to endorse the outright bans on zero-hours contracts and app-based “gig” economy advocated by the Labour Party, trade unions and other pressure groups. However, its recommendations for further regulation of these types of work seem ... Continue reading