Britain takes a uniquely restrictive approach to occupational licensing. Around one in five UK employees requires a licence from government to practice their chosen occupation – a proportion which has doubled in the last fifteen years.
Len Shackleton, IEA editorial fellow and author of a recent report into occupational licensing, sat down with us this week to discuss the current situation. He examines whether the government’s approach is necessary or desirable – particularly in a world of technological change, with algorithms, robotics and artificial intelligence increasingly able to perform some of the functions of the established professions.
The question of whether Britain should stay in the EU’s customs union has dominated the news cycle recently – with the CBI and other high profile voices suggesting that remaining in the Customs Union would be consistent with Britain’s vote to Leave the EU.
But would this be a political possibility? And would it be wise?We’re joined by Julian Jessop, the IEA’s Chief Economist and Head of the Brexit Unit, to give us update on these developments. Julian explains what the Customs Union is, how it differs from the Single Market, and explores some of the pros and cons of staying in it.
The resale of tickets has been around for as long as humans have charged entry to events. Evidence of ticket ‘touting’ goes all the way back to Ancient Rome. In the 21st century though, it’s becoming an increasingly controversial practice. Companies like Viagogo, Seatwave and Stubhub now offer tickets to otherwise hard-to-reach events – but, often, at a hefty price.
IEA News Editor Kate Andrews interviews Dr Steve Davies, the IEA’s Head of Education and author of new report Digital Resellers: The case for Secondary Ticket Markets. Steve believes that ticket resale is simply one aspect of the ‘Sharing Economy’ which enables voluntary transactions to take place between willing buyers and sellers. Those who aim to resell tickets for a profit, Steve argues, are themselves taking on considerable risk. Kate and Steve examine the economics, and the morality, of ticket resale, and take a look at the way artists like Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Madonna use market mechanisms to sell their products.
IEA Research Director Dr Jamie Whyte lambastes Oxfam’s latest report on global inequality, arguing that the poverty-relief charity is attacking the economic system that has lead to the greatest fall in absolute poverty the world has ever seen.
“Fake news” – a favourite term of Donald Trump – was voted 2017’s ‘word of the year’. Indeed, the spread of fake news has been cited as a serious threat to democracy, free debate and the Western order – with many believing it’s made further regulation of social media inevitable. And yet, in a world where social media has allowed anyone to create and disseminate information, there is still little agreement on what it is, how much of a problem it is, and what to do about it.
Today the IEA’s Chief Economist Julian Jessop and News Editor Kate Andrews discuss the new media landscape – which has shifted dramatically in recent years with the growth of hugely influential tech companies like Apple and Google.
The pair discuss, what, if anything, governments and Tech Giants should do to address the spread of fake news, and what the future regulatory landscape will look like.
The IEA’s Head of Health and Welfare Dr Kristian Niemietz discusses the UK’s national treasure- also known as the National Health Service. In the wake of yet another winter crisis, Kristian explains how other countries manage to avoid system shutdowns every year, mainly through the use of market mechanisms that lead to better efficiencies, and in turn, better patient outcomes. Interviewed by the IEA’s News Editor Kate Andrews, Kristian also addresses the issue of funding, noting that more cash can lead to a more generous healthcare system, but it is not obvious that it would help to solve the bread-and-butter issues facing the NHS, like A&E waiting times and cancer survival rates. Kristian lays out his ideal healthcare system, which he thinks could be a legitimate contender for ‘envy of the world’.
In our first podcast of 2018, we look at one of the most critical areas in public policy – housing. The Institute of Economic Affairs’s Kristian Niemietz and former Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute Ben Southwood discuss the housing shortage, its supply-side nature and the politics which underpin it. Interviewed by the IEA’s Kate Andrews, the pair examine the historical origins of the housing crisis, which date back to legislation introduced under Clement Attlee’s government in the 1940s. They also look at the well-organised NIMBY movement (short for “Not In My Back Yard”), and its influence on government policy.
What do Momentum and Moggmentum have in common? Find out in our round-up of 2017, featuring the IEA’s Director General Mark Littlewood and Communications Director Stephanie Lis. Interviewed by the IEA’s News Editor Kate Andrews, the three discuss the state of the Brexit negotiations, the problems in Parliament, Donald Trump’s America, and predictions for 2018.
In this special Christmas edition, we look back at some of the most interesting topics discussed in 2017. Join the IEA’s News Editor Kate Andrews, along with Head of Education Dr Steve Davies, as they discuss the future of Intellectual Property Rights, how technology could help us feed the world, and the possibility of humans living until 700 years of age.
The Institute of Economic Affairs hosts a debate asking if economist and author John Mills has the solutions to the UK’s economic problems. At the heart of John’s plan is a proposal to lift the share of manufacturing and investment by engineering a substantial fall in the exchange rate. On the other side of the debate is the IEA’s chief economist Julian Jessop, arguing that deregulation and lower tax rates are the best way to stimulate economic growth. Both John and Julian join IEA news editor Kate Andrews for today’s podcast, as they go over the main points made during the debate, and go into further detail in areas of disagreement and consensus.