Economics & Social Policy

Lessons from the US on Innovation Policy

A commentary by Sir Geoffrey Owen, Head of Industrial Policy at Policy Exchange and former Editor of the Financial Times. Sir Geoffrey examines the reasons for US leadership in two key sectors, information technology and biotechnology, highlighting the important role played by new entrepreneurial firms

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Clarifying Income Distribution: An Issue of Equality or Need?

This report — written by Rebecca Lowe Coulson, Policy Exchange’s State and Society Research Fellow — shows that claims suggesting that income inequality has never been greater are not only societally divisive, they are also largely untrue. It also explains why income equality does not necessarily equate to high overall living standards, and explores how that relates to the duties of the state towards the least well off.

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The End of Austerity?: Pre Autumn Statement Briefing

This new commentary, written by Jonathan Dupont — Policy Exchange Economic and Social Policy Research Fellow — contends that ‘given the current stability of the economy, there is no need for dramatic policy interventions, and the Chancellor should be unafraid to deliver a steady-as-it-goes Autumn Statement’

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Finances

‘Without sound finance, you cannot have a strong economy with which to fund public services’ – the moral the Chancellor should choose for his Budget

Policy Exchange’s Research Fellow in Economics, Mike Taylor, sets out the guiding principles with which to judge the Autumn Budget. Highlighting the importance of fiscal sustainability, Mike cautions those seeking to use the Japanese experience to justify higher borrowing, pointing out the limits of any comparison with the UK.

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Northern Ireland

A sensible deal on the Northern Ireland border is very achievable – Brussels and Dublin should stop playing games.

Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Graham Gudgin, sets out how a workable deal on the Northern Ireland border could be delivered – without the return of a ‘hard border’. He says that the Irish Government and European Commission are using the issue for short-term political gain. ​

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Latest Economics & Social Policy Publications

Trading Tigers

Trading Tigers

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Brexit offers the opportunity to join free trade deals with fast growing economies like members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – but only if the UK is free to make commitments on both goods and services, argues a new essay by Policy Exchange’s Head of Trade Policy Geoff Raby and Head of Economics Warwick Lightfoot.

Global Champion: The case for unilateral free trade

Global Champion: The case for unilateral free trade

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In a major new study, Policy Exchange argues that as the UK leaves the EU, it should unilaterally abolish all tariffs. This would reduce UK consumers’ shopping bills, increase productivity and promote global prosperity. We can also disarm the threat of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In the Foreword, Australian High Commissioner to London Alexander Downer said: “Trade is not a zero-sum equation. In the decades ahead all major economies should remove their tariffs and open their markets to competition. As the UK once again takes its place at the WTO it should take the opportunity lead by example and remove its tariffs.”

Global Britain, Global Solutions: How British R&D can transform international development

Global Britain, Global Solutions: How British R&D can transform international development

This new Policy Exchange report, published today — written by Economic and Social Policy Research Fellow, Jonathan Dupont — recommends that the UK should double the proportion of its international aid budget spent on research and development, in order to solve the most pressing global challenges and support the Government’s Industrial Strategy. George Freeman MP, Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum, has written a Foreword for the report.

Latest Economics & Social Policy Blogs

The ‘end of austerity’ and what should come next

The ‘end of austerity’ and what should come next

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot – a former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – says the Prime Minister’s announcement that ‘austerity’ is ending is good politics. But increased public spending doesn’t always mean better public sector productivity, he warns.

Financial Stability Post Brexit

Financial Stability Post Brexit

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – looks at the possible impact of Brexit on financial stability and the willingness of the world to act in the event of another financial crisis.

Latest Economics & Social Policy News

The Budget and the Digital Services Tax

The Budget and the Digital Services Tax

Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of a Digital Services Tax, Jan Zeber, Policy Exchange’s Research Fellow on Prosperity, told Sky News that the policy should not be viewed as a measure to help the high street. In the long-run, brick-and-mortar shops need to offer something that online retailers cannot, rather than aim to compete directly.

Michael Taylor gives evidence to Environment Committee

Michael Taylor gives evidence to Environment Committee

Farmers should be rewarded for land stewardship and public goods, and removing tariffs will increase consumer choice and keep prices down, helping the poorest most. That was the message Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow Michael Taylor gave to the EFRA Select Committee when discussing Farming Tomorrow, our seminal report on opportunities for replacing the Common Agricultural Policy after Brexit.

Warwick Lightfoot argues for agriculture policy reform on Farming Today

Warwick Lightfoot argues for agriculture policy reform on Farming Today

Policy Exchange’s Director of Economics & Social Policy Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – appeared on the BBC to argue the case for reform of agriculture policy as Britain leaves the EU. Warwick pressed that farm policy is not currently aimed at supporting consumers and this should be reviewed as the UK moves away from the Common Agricultural Policy.

Latest Economics & Social Policy Events


  • Monday, 19 November, 2018
    18:00 - 20:30

18.00 – Doors open and registration begins 18.30 – Event start 20.00 – Drinks and discussion 20.30 – Event close In the last of three events Policy Exchange is holding as part of our Building Beautiful Month, you are invited to a conference on “Building More, Building Beautiful” With speakers including: Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing (more…)

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom


  • Monday, 10 September, 2018
    12:30 - 14:00

12.30 – Registration 13.00 – Event start 14.00 – Event close Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Johnny Mercer MP will be giving a speech on Suicide Prevention Day, addressing the key issues of health, mental health and the need for a whole-society approach to the long-term challenges facing Britain. He will discuss: •   (more…)

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom


  • Monday, 23 July, 2018
    17:00 - 18:30

Marking the launch of a new paper, Policy Exchange invites you to a panel discussion on “Is Britain’s Growth Model Broken – and Can Brexit Help to Fix It?” The paper’s author Dr Christopher Bickerton will introduce his research, followed by a panel discussion including the former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court.

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom


  • Monday, 2 July, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as ‘the father of modern economics’ and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Jesse Norman MP’s book shows how, far from being a doctrinaire ‘libertarian’ or ‘neoliberal’ thinker, Smith offers an evolutionary theory of political economy, which balances the roles of markets and the state.


  • Thursday, 28 June, 2018
    13:00 - 14:30

Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP and Brigadier John Deverell spoke on the strategic role of soft power, outlining how her vision for the future of UK development policy applies in the context of civilian–military cooperation, the interplay between hard and soft power, and the importance of development’s role alongside defence and diplomacy.


  • Monday, 21 May, 2018
    8:30 - 15:45

Policy Exchange hosted a major conference considering the future of the Union, with keynote speeches from Ruth Davidson, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers. In bringing together speakers from different parties, different nations and opposite sides of the Brexit debate, we demonstrated that unionism can be the bridge between the different elements in our divided society.


  • Friday, 6 April, 2018
    8:45 - 10:00

Policy Exchange welcomed Siv Jensen, Norwegian Finance Minister and leader of the Progress Party, who said that British and Norwegian views on the single market in financial services have often been aligned and reflected on the challenges for monetary policy, including the lowering of inflation targets and an increase in interest rates to ensure credit risk is appropriately priced. Singling out the housing market, she argued that home ownership is cherished by people in both Norway and Britain – and that a balanced approach to regulation is required to avoid asset booms (and busts).

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom

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