Martin Ricketts
11 August 2014

In the heyday of state interventionism that followed World War II, it fell to a relatively small group of economists to defend the seemingly outdated classical liberal inheritance and develop a...
Stephen Michael MacLean
2 January 2014
1 comment

‘What are the foundations of a free society?’ asks a recent IEA publication. What key components are essential for realising the common good, and how well does the United Kingdom meet...
Eamonn Butler
9 January 2013
1 comment

Friends of the IEA will be sorry to hear of the death of James M. Buchanan, the US economist and Nobel Laureate. In the 1960s, with colleague Gordon Tullock, Buchanan brought to wide attention...
Chris Snowdon
11 June 2012

2008 represented something of a milestone for Britain’s charity sector as it was the year in which it received more money from government than from individuals. This was emblematic of the...
Eamonn Butler
3 May 2012
1 comment

It’s election time again in the UK, where the local elections – in particular the high-profile contest for Mayor of London – are a laboratory example of all the shortcomings of...
Richard Wellings
26 April 2012

  Mancur Olson is best known for his 1965 book, The Logic of Collective Action, in which he explained why small, concentrated interest groups are more likely to influence policy than large,...
Stephen Michael MacLean
12 April 2012

Britons attentive to political affairs in Canada will be aware of its latest political scandal: allegations abound of electioneering shenanigans involving annoying telephone calls in the late of...
Eamonn Butler
26 March 2012

Politicians are always exhorting us to take more interest in our community, in the government of our country, and the ongoing debates about schools or hospitals or roads. But few of us do. Politics...
Mark Pennington
1 February 2012

The mention of public choice theory to those on ‘the left’ of politics can prompt a variety of reactions. Some are based on ignorance about the very existence of public choice economics...
Kristian Niemietz
14 December 2011

Nearly ten years ago, IEA author Mark Pennington argued that British land use planning policies were characterised by public choice problems. Since no single individual’s vote has a...
Stephen Michael MacLean
25 November 2011

Students of public choice theory will recognise the rationale behind the Canadian government’s recent effort to cut waste. In response to an access-to-information request, the Treasury...
Kristian Niemietz
1 June 2011
1 comment

‘Generation Rent’ seems to be the media catchphrase of the day, and this should come as no surprise. Over the past fifteen years, house prices have risen so sharply that despite the...
Daniel Jordan
26 October 2010
1 comment

Last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review has reignited the debate on how much the government can save by cutting waste. To quote the Review, “Particular focus has been given to reducing...
Charles K. Rowley
19 October 2010

Since the end of World War II, top British universities have experienced relative decline in the international league tables. Most especially, the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford have really...
Charles K. Rowley
8 May 2010

Indecisive outcomes are periodic features of the Westminster model, even though the plurality (first-past-the-post) system is custom-made to secure a single-party majority. Hung parliaments occurred...
Richard Wellings
24 September 2009

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

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
22 June 2009

Britain now faces its worst ever peacetime fiscal crisis, yet our politicians seem incapable of grasping the seriousness of the situation. Indeed, when Andrew Lansley suggested recently...
Richard Wellings
11 June 2009

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...
James Alexander
5 June 2009

The threat of “systemic failure” has been used to justify recent government interventions in the financial sector. Essentially it is a “market-failure” type of argument...

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