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Adam Smith Institute
The Adam Smith Institute is one of the world’s leading think tanks. Independent, non-profit and non-partisan, it works to promote libertarian and free market ideas through research, publishing, media commentary, and educational programmes. The Institute is today at the forefront of making the case for free markets and a free society in the United Kingdom.

Adam Smith Institute

The ASI at Tory Conference: cannabis, vaping, clubbing and winning over Millennials

Let's face it, Conservative Party Conference can get a bit stuffy. But that's definitely not the case when it comes to the ASI's conference fringe line-up. We're discussing issues that really matter on topics that are often neglected, but vitally important if you care about a free society.We're hosting three events inside the secure zone (that means to attend you'll need a conference pass) over the Monday and Tuesday covering e-cigarettes, cannabis legalisation and winning over young voters...

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Once again the NHS is evidence of Baumol’s central contention

Or as we should put it, the NHS is evidence of both of Baumol's central contentions. The first is that one that many know, the Cost Disease. As technology marches on it is easier to increase productivity in manufacturing rather than services. But wage rates are set by average productivity across the economy thus services will rise in price as against manufactures over time. The NHS is largely a service and this then explains the NHS having an inflation rate above that of the general...

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Which groups are most affected by minimum wage increases?

A new NBER paper released last month examines how minimum wage increases in the U.S. affect employment in low-skilled automatable jobs. Consistent with the majority of papers on the subject, it finds that low-skilled workers (high school diploma equivalent or less) holding such jobs become unemployed as a result of minimum wage increases.As the authors explain, many papers examining the effects of increasing the minimum wage focus on teenagers and restaurant workers. However, this study aims...

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We confess to finding this amusing rather than worrying

Boris is being shouted at over that £350 million figure and perhaps he should be and perhaps he shouldn't. But it takes Mr. Polly Toynbee to tell us that this is a constitutional crisis:The Boris Johnson affair – especially his dismissive rejection of the UK Statistics Authority – provokes a constitutional crisis. Not constitutional in the formal sense of the workings of parliament and the Crown, but in the spirit and procedures of Whitehall.The head statistics bod tells us and Boris that...

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Coal kills people apparently – sadly, so does everything else

What is assumed to be a top and trumping argument from Australia:Coal kills people. This isn’t even slightly scientifically controversial.From the mines to the trains to the climate disruption; from black lung to asthma, heat stress to hunger, fires to floods: coal is killing people in Australia and around the world right now.Yet we are once again having what passes for political debate about extending the life of coal-fired power stations and, extraordinarily, building new ones.It's entirely...

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Airbnb and discrimination

I have repeatedly blogged about discrimination, especially against women and non-whites in labour markets. On raw numbers we often see different outcomes between groups, and since we know that discrimination goes on, we often instinctively attribute these "gaps" to discrimination, as Tim Harford does in an otherwise nice piece here. But once we dial down and get more detail, the gaps often evaporate—the more employers or clients have about individuals, the less they use averages about...

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Immigrants are taking our jobs, but..

The government has targeted low-skilled workers in the recently leaked government papers, suggesting a restriction on the amount of foreigners in low-skilled occupations. The paper insinuates that low-skilled immigrants are not valuable to the country because they don’t make existing residents better off. The argument consists of beliefs that UK wages are being driven down and that UK jobs are being taken away from natives. This is a common fallacy in the public debate and I beg to differ....

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The right is to blame for the proliferation of dangerous leftist eco-nonsense

“This changes everything” is perhaps the leading siren call in the face of climatechange. For a certain sub-genre of leftist, the existence of environmental issuesmeans only one thing. Capitalism, modernity, growth, consumerism, andindustrialism are to blame, and a paradigm shift is necessary to save humanityand the earth. We must embrace a zero-growth, or even degrowth, economy withsignificant central planning and curtailment of consumption. The alternative isglobal catastrophe.This is, of...

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If only Britain had done what Germany did we’d have beaten homelessness

Lynsey Hanley tells us all how appalling the rise in homelessness in Britain is. Apparently it's all entirely the Tories who actively desire the poor, addicted and mentally addled to suffer. We think that might not be the whole and entire truth to be honest.One little part of this analysis did catch our eye though:As long ago as 1993, researchers at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, in a report tellingly titled Making It Happen: Finding the Resources for Social Housing, noted that 600,000 more...

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A fascinating result from China about economic mobility

As we all know the Chinese communist revolution entirely appropriated all private wealth. As we all also know it has been possible once again, for these past few decades, to make private wealth again. We've thus a good test of that old question, is it simply happenstance that some people have more wealth than others or not? That is, once the redistribution has happened do we get the same old people accumulating the wealth again or is it some completely different group that then prospers? A...

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