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Ryan Bourne
28 January 2015
10 comments

Fairly often the facts get in the way of a good meme. The cricketer Stuart Broad has angered a host of constantly-outraged egalitarians by tweeting that ‘I’ve heard if you earn minimum...
Ryan Bourne
27 January 2015
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George Osborne has recently taken to the cause of securing ‘full employment’. A crude analysis might suggest that this a clever political move to focus attention on a Conservative success...
Ryan Bourne
27 January 2015
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If ‘tax avoidance’ is the answer, what is the question? For many years it might have been: ‘what subject excites only a small number of tax lawyers and HMRC officials?’ But in...
Peter Ainsworth
26 January 2015
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Liam Byrne, shadow universities minister, was quoted in the New Statesman recently in relation to tuition fees, saying: ‘We've just got to ask ourselves, how much more debt are we going to...
Stephanie Lis
23 January 2015
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Last night we learned that the government plans to change the law to ensure that cigarettes are sold in plain packages. The ostensible goal of reducing the number of smokers may be well-intentioned,...
Mikko Arevuo
22 January 2015
3 comments

Ever since James Watt was awarded a patent for the improvements he made to the Newcomen steam engine in January 1769, economists and libertarians have been divided over intellectual property rights (...
David B. Smith
21 January 2015
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This article is based on David B. Smith’s Politeia paper ‘The UK Government Spending Ratio: Back to the 1930s?’.   Some politicians have asserted that Britain’s...
Ryan Bourne
20 January 2015
1 comment

One of the insights of the Public Choice School of economics is that voting groups with more homogenous interests will have much more influence on the political process than those with more diffuse...
Ryan Bourne
19 January 2015
1 comment

Global capitalism has eradicated poverty and generated prosperity in the developing world at an unprecedented rate. You might imagine that a global anti-poverty charity, such as Oxfam, would...
Ryan Bourne
16 January 2015
1 comment

"What is the point of walls and warships and glittering statues if the men who build them are not happy?’ asked Socrates in the 5th century BC. "It is preoccupation with possessions,...
Philip Booth
15 January 2015
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With the news that inflation has fallen to 0.5 per cent there are “fears” that we might be about to slide into deflation. It is worth noting, firstly, that it is CPI inflation that has...
Colin Robinson
14 January 2015
4 comments

In September 2013, at a time when energy prices were increasing, opposition leader Ed Miliband made an eye-catching proposal: a two-year freeze on the retail prices of gas and electricity. Last...
Ryan Bourne
14 January 2015
2 comments

Last week, dreadful headlines and stories on A&E waiting times dominated the front pages of almost every national newspaper. If not for the sickening events in Paris the following day, the NHS...
Ryan Bourne
13 January 2015
6 comments

A lie, repeated often, becomes the truth in the public mind. That’s why, when a Fox News commentator suggests that Birmingham is a “Muslim-only city”, we feel it important to set...
Len Shackleton
12 January 2015
3 comments

Despite all the furore about immigration, comparatively little is written about emigration. But what we know about emigrants from the UK can shed some useful light on the debate about Britain’s...
Philip Booth
9 January 2015
22 comments

There are not many things that economists are agreed upon. However, to slightly corrupt a quip attributed to George Bernard Shaw, if you laid all the economists in the world end-to-end around the M25...
Kristian Niemietz
8 January 2015
5 comments

In the early 2000s, long waiting times at Accident and Emergency departments were commonplace. About one in five patients was stuck in the waiting room for longer than four hours before being seen....
David Henderson
7 January 2015
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The Financial Times has long been a continuing source of misleading statements about the relative size of the economies of different countries, as given by their real GDP - i.e. their output of goods...
Ryan Bourne
6 January 2015
2 comments

Friday 19 December 2014 was a happy day for many Londoners, marking their last in the office before Christmas. Yet amid all the festivities, you’d have been forgiven for missing something...