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Ryan Bourne
14 September 2014
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Most politicians and commentators think the ‘cost of living’ and its inverse ‘low pay’ are areas of serious concern for public policy. But for some, like the journalist Owen...
Ryan Bourne
12 September 2014
5 comments

Concern about ‘low pay’ and the ‘cost of living’ are two sides of the same coin. Pay is deemed ‘low’ when the prices of things we need to buy are rising...
Kristian Niemietz
11 September 2014
1 comment

In this video the IEA’s Senior Research Fellow Kristian Niemietz outlines a free-market approach to the cost of living squeeze. Building on his research in Redefining the Poverty Debate, he...
Andreas Strongolou
10 September 2014
1 comment

Planning controls constitute a significant denial of private property rights, with serious economic consequences. The most obvious is the severe housing crisis. However, businesses also suffer as...
Ryan Bourne
9 September 2014
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Why do politicians advocate policies which deal with the symptoms of problems rather than the underlying issues directly? In the past week we’ve seen Liberal Democrats react to expensive...
Philip Booth and Kevin Dowd
20 August 2014
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Proponents of Bitcoin like to suggest that it will be the money of the future. Critics point to its price volatility, the evidence of a Bitcoin bubble and other problems. Both sides make valid points...
Ryan Bourne
25 July 2014
4 comments

Don’t you miss Jeremy Paxman already? On Newsnight he would ask persistently the question that politicians were trying to obfuscate on, to try to obtain a straight answer. This clarity helped...
Ryan Bourne
18 July 2014
18 comments

As the discussion regarding the future of the BBC licence fee rumbles on ahead of the 2016 Charter Review, the BBC’s Director of Policy James Heath has helpfully laid out in two separate blog...
Stephen Littlechild
3 July 2014
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Ofgem has referred the retail energy market for investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This is the right decision, for the wrong reasons. Most of Ofgem’s concerns are...
John H. Cochrane
27 June 2014
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    Hoover's Peregrine asked me to write an essay with the title, ‘What is the optimal number of immigrants to the US?’   My answer: Two billion, two million,...
Stephen Littlechild
11 June 2014
1 comment

Ofgem’s chickens are coming home to roost, and the energy market regulator now faces a choice. It must decide whether it really is sensible to enforce the restrictions on energy suppliers it...
Philip Booth
4 June 2014
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In the Queen’s Speech today, the government is likely to give the go-ahead for large pension schemes along Dutch lines. Such collective defined contribution schemes have many advantages. They...
Philip Booth
7 May 2014
2 comments

Our financial regulators are not known for their incisive economic analysis, but more for tying up in red tape sectors of the economy that were hitherto performing tolerably well – normally...
Ryan Bourne
7 May 2014
1 comment

Over the past week, the Labour Party has announced new policies on housing. Billed as attempts to help alleviate the ‘cost of living crisis’, the proposals comprise three elements: -...
Kristian Niemietz
2 May 2014
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To deal with the problem of escalating rents, Ed Miliband plans to introduce what amounts to a variation of ‘second generation rent controls’ (SGRCs). Under SGRCs, landlords are free to...
Ryan Bourne
22 April 2014
1 comment

Pay growth at 1.7 per cent, inflation at 1.6 per cent on the consumer price index (CPI), real wages increasing. One commentator stated this was the coalition’s ‘mission accomplished...
Ryan Bourne
8 April 2014
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Political soundbites can be excruciating. They hang around for a year or two before disappearing when they become untenable. Who can forget Labour’s ‘too far, too fast’, or the...
Ryan Bourne and Kristian Niemietz
4 April 2014
26 comments

- ‘There’s a study on this by University X, which clearly confirms A.’ - ‘That has long been debunked. Another study, from University Y, rebuts A and conclusively proves B....
1 April 2014
1 comment

A rapidly growing literature on behavioural economics shows that some errors made by regulators are persistent and predictable. Behavioural economics uses insights from psychology to explain why...
Philip Booth
28 March 2014
2 comments

It is not entirely unwelcome that the energy industry has been referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) by Ofgem. It may lance a festering boil; it may do some good. However, this will...