Should Britain stay in the Customs Union?

February 7, 2018

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. Finally, he looks at some of the alternative possibilities to our current arrangement.

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The Case for Ticket Resale

February 1, 2018

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. 

Today on our podcast, 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. 

We 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.

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FAKE NEWS: Dealing with misinformation in the age of Tech Giants and new media

January 25, 2018
"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. 
 
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Distracting from Poverty Relief: The Oxfam report debunked

January 22, 2018

On today's podcast, IEA Research Director Dr Jamie Whyte lambasts 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. 

Interviewed by the IEA's Kate Andrews, Jamie expands on the criticisms and analysis that he laid out in The Times today.

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Winter is Coming: NHS crisis talks

January 18, 2018
This week on our podcast, 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'. 
 

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Here’s How We Solve Britain’s Housing Crisis

January 12, 2018

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.

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Brexit Update: Divorce Bill, Irish border, and more

December 28, 2017

After months of talks, EU and UK negotiators have finally reached an agreement on Phase 1 of the Brexit talks, to begin trade talks in the New Year. But just how binding is all of this?

IEA Chief Economist and Head of the Brexit Unit Julian Jessop, and Digital Officer Madeline Grant discuss the outstanding issues, and the extent to which issues covered in Phase 1 - like the Ireland Border, Divorce Bill and EU citizens rights, have been resolved. They also look ahead, examining the key priorities for Phase 2 and trade talks. 

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2017: A Year in Review

December 22, 2017

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.

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Is Sterling Devaluation the Path to Prosperity?

December 15, 2017

On December 5th, the Institute of Economic Affairs hosted a debate at our offices, asking if economist and author John Mills had 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 was the IEA’s chief economist Julian Jessop, arguing that deregulation and lower tax rates were 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.

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What Is The Best Way To Measure Poverty in Britain?

December 13, 2017

What is the best way to measure poverty?

Intuitively, this question might not seem necessary - surely, we know poverty when we see it.

But while we can probably agree that the inhabitants of Victorian slums were in poverty, in many cases today things aren't so clear cut.

Our Chief Economist Julian Jessop examines this question in light of recent research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, warning of rises in child and pensioner poverty.

Interviewed by Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair go through some of the available metrics for determining poverty from absolute measures and cut off points to 'relative' ones, which compare individuals' standard of living with those in the societies they live in.

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