The morning I turned eight, I woke up and told my father that I was “halfway there”. This, in my home state of Connecticut, was in reference to getting my driving licence, a process I could start on my sixteenth birthday. As a kid, this was the milestone that I was most excited to reach, ... Continue reading
The Institute of Economic Affairs is commissioning lifestyle economics papers as part of its research output in 2019. Our lifestyle unit has been publishing research on paternalistic regulation since 2013, subjecting topical policy proposals to rigorous economic analysis to reveal the costs, benefits and unintended consequences of taxation and regulation. We have covered a wide ... Continue reading
You would hope that politicians – current or prospective – would rank improving the lives of their fellow citizens as one of their top priorities. Their approaches and methods would probably be different, with some viewing individual liberty as paramount and others willing to sacrifice certain freedoms for better health outcomes. Both of these groups ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
I’ve heard it said – often by advocates of social justice campaigns like the #MeToo movement – that we should have little sympathy for people who don’t know what behaviour is on the right or wrong side of the line. Men, for example, have no need to be fearful in a #MeToo world as long ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
Richard Thaler, a professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, was announced as this year’s winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics on Monday. Thaler is best-known for his contributions to the field of behavioural economics, alongside the 2002 winner Daniel Kahneman and former presidential adviser Cass Sunstein. Economists have never ... Continue reading

Reaction to High Court ruling on plain packaging

Commenting on the High Court's ruling against tobacco companies' challenge on plain packaging rules, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said: "This is a bad day for intellectual property and a good day for counterfeiters. Plain packaging will inconvenience retailers and fuel Britain's already vast black market. Moreover, now ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
Sin and consumption taxes, including taxes on tobacco and alcohol, cost low income people more than 37% of their income (as opposed to only 15% for richer Britons). Cutting these taxes can have significant benefits to the economy and lower the disproportionate burden on low income Britons. ieaTV explores the effect of sin taxes in ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics
Christopher Snowdon, Director of IEA Lifestyle Economics, on the threats to consumer choice in our society – and why free market mechanisms produce better outcomes than heavy-handed state regulation.... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood responds to liver specialists writing in The Lancet

The effects of problem-drinking are not going to be solved by introducing minimum alcohol pricing but by treating people like adults said Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, responding to liver specialists calling for more regulation in The Lancet. He said: “Over-consumption of alcohol in this country has little to do ... Continue reading