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Richard Wellings
24 September 2009
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Earlier this month, President Sarkozy announced plans to introduce a carbon tax in France. The UK could follow suit. A widely applied new tax, justified on environmental grounds, could prove popular...
Richard Wellings
10 September 2009
13 comments

From China to California, the current slump has been marked by enthusiasm for high-speed rail. Projects typically form part of some kind of “Keynesian” stimulus package. Here in Britain...
Richard Wellings
3 September 2009
16 comments

Fuel duty rose by 2p this week, the third increase in the last ten months. Governments tend to view petrol taxes as a convenient source of revenue when budget deficits are high. Indeed, the last...
Kristian Niemietz
13 August 2009
16 comments

Machynlleth, a small town in Wales, is under attack from a vicious superpower. The Guardian’s local correspondent reports first hand from the heart of the combat zone:   “it...
Len Shackleton
12 August 2009
14 comments

The Times tells us that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is demanding that food retailers agree to tough targets on reducing food waste, or else face legislation...
Bruno Prior
10 August 2009
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Aggregation is the ignis fatuus of modern modes of thought. Sums beguile. Averages bamboozle. Reality is found at the margins.
Bruno Prior
10 August 2009
14 comments

Aggregation is the ignis fatuus of modern modes of thought. Sums beguile. Averages bamboozle. Reality is found at the margins. Take the government’s plans for wind-power to supply around 22%...
Richard Wellings
29 July 2009
18 comments

The government recently announced a series of measures designed to make Britain a low-carbon economy, including a large expansion of renewable energy (primarily wind), grants for better home...
Richard Wellings
11 June 2009
26 comments

The RMT has once again brought London to a standstill with a 48-hour strike. This is a good example of public choice theory at work, in particular Mancur Olson’s logic of collective action. A...
Richard Wellings
8 June 2009
8 comments

For several decades the British economy has been hampered by the poor quality of its infrastructure. Whether in transport, education or health, investment has typically been low by international...
David Starkie
26 February 2009
4 comments

The Department of Transport received a rude awakening last year when in August the Competition Commission released its Emerging Thinking report as part of its market reference inquiry into BAA. This...
Richard Wellings
23 January 2009
20 comments

The Conservative Party has proposed an alternative to the £9 billion expansion of Heathrow. A high-speed rail line would be constructed along the route London-Birmingham-Manchester-Leeds to...
John Meadowcroft
15 January 2009
12 comments

Economists often identify a dichotomy between people’s stated preferences and the preferences that are revealed when people are actually required to choose between scarce uses of their...
Philip Booth
6 January 2009
8 comments

Alan Walters was a great figure in economics. The obituaries today focus mainly on his contributions to macro-economics and as an advisor to Mrs Thatcher. I would like to make a brief comment about...
Colin Robinson
29 December 2008
2 comments

Politicians and ‘opinion leaders’ claim that damaging climate change is in prospect unless drastic centralised action is taken. The prevailing view about climate change action is part of...
Kristian Niemietz
3 December 2008
20 comments

Twenty-nine per cent of English homes are not ‘decent’ places to live, according to the latest edition of the English House Condition Survey. They fail to meet the ‘decent homes...
Richard Wellings
21 November 2008
12 comments

Yesterday it was announced that the Greater London Authority (GLA) is to create 50,000 ‘affordable’ homes. But do such schemes actually increase the affordability of housing? When developers are...
Philip Booth
14 November 2008
10 comments

In each of the last two weeks the IEA has hosted panel discussions in front of packed houses. Last week the topic was public sector pensions and this week it was the Third Heathrow Runway....
Richard Wellings
9 October 2008
10 comments

The British government unwisely entered the current slowdown with a sizeable budget deficit. Recent bank bailouts are likely to push the national accounts further into the red and increased...
Richard Wellings
30 September 2008
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Environmental scares have a long history. At the end of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus predicted that rapid population growth would lead to war, pestilence and famine. Almost 200 years later, the...