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Left Behind

Left Behind: Why voters deserted social democracy - and how to win them back

John Mills, October 2019

Something has gone badly awry with social democracy in recent years. Not so long ago, government by centre-left parties seemed almost to be the natural order of affairs in stable and prosperous economies. Today the position is very different, as voters have turned their back on them across much of the west. Where such parties have fared better – as in the UK – this tends… [Full Details]

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Small Modular Reactors

Small Modular Reactors: What is the fuss about and why does it matter?

Candida Whitmill, November 2018

The UK needs to invest in a new breed of advanced modular reactors if it is to have any chance of meeting its decarbonisation targets over the coming years, energy entrepreneur Candida Whitmill argues in this paper. The government is supporting the development of small modular reactors (SMRs) – which are cheaper, safer and quicker to build than new nuclear power stations – as part of its… [Full Details]

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The Left Case for Brexit

The Left Case for Brexit: Active government for an independent UK

Philip B. Whyman, September 2018

Two years on from the vote for Brexit, the process of withdrawal remains mired in debate about the kind of relationship an independent UK should be seeking with the European Union and the wider world. With the date for departure moving ever closer, there is a desperate need for a clear vision of what a post-Brexit Britain should look like and be trying to… [Full Details]

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Closing the Finance Gap

Closing the Finance Gap: How a national investment bank could support enterprise and raise productivity

Justin Protts, February 2018

The UK economy is suffering from low productivity. This has been weighing heavily on GDP growth since the 2008 financial crisis, with output per worker stagnating at one of the lowest levels of any advanced economy. Raising productivity requires investment in productive enterprise. But UK investment, as a proportion of domestic output, has fallen from about a quarter of GDP in 1990, when it was… [Full Details]

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Britain's Demographic Challenge: The implications of the UK’s rapidly increasing population

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, September 2017

The population of the United Kingdom is growing at a rate of more than 500,000 a year, equivalent to a new town of about 10,000 people being created every week. On current projections, by 2039 there will be nearly 10 million more people living here – enough to populate Greater Manchester three times over. What are the implications of this for the country, and… [Full Details]

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Helping Businesses Thrive in Peripheral Rural Towns

Helping Businesses Thrive in Peripheral Rural Towns

Neil Powe and Rhona Pringle, July 2017

In this new report, Newcastle University academics Neil Powe and Rhona Pringle explore the scope for business-led growth and place-based revival in peripheral rural towns - those that are distant rather than accessible to large urban areas, and that are between 2,000 and 12,000 in population. The research aims to investigate whether businesses can thrive in peripheral rural towns and, if so… [Full Details]

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Going Through the Motions

Going Through the Motions: The Industrial Strategy Green Paper

Rupert Darwall, June 2017

As the UK looks to benefit from the opportunities afforded by Brexit, Theresa May intends that the country’s economic success will be underpinned by a modern industrial strategy. The first outline of this was set out in a green paper published in January. In this pamphlet, Rupert Darwall argues that an industrial strategy is needed, in order to provide a coherent framework for policy… [Full Details]

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Britain’s Achilles Heel

Britain’s Achilles Heel: Our Uncompetitive Pound

John Mills, June 2017

Why is economic growth and prosperity in the world so patchy and unstable? Why have incomes for so many people stagnated? Why is there so much inequality – and why is there so much debt? Are all these conditions inevitable or are there more effective ways of ordering our economic affairs to achieve better results? In this new book, the economist and entrepreneur John Mills confronts… [Full Details]

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Competitiveness Before Carbon

Competitiveness Before Carbon: How to safeguard Britain's just about managing companies by making energy costs a source of competitive advantage for UK firms

Glyn Gaskarth, February 2017

A series of policy initiatives since 2000 have rendered energy supply in the UK unstable and expensive. This has been driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions in response to concerns about global warming. The effect, however, has been to drive energy intensive industries overseas, to countries with less carbon efficient means of production, resulting in a net increase in per capita global emissions… [Full Details]

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Inclusive Capitalism

Inclusive Capitalism: How we can make independence work for everyone

David G. Green, February 2017

The UK is taking back its independence at a time when some of the unspoken assumptions of recent times are shifting. To speak of the political left or the political right no longer has a clear meaning. Some say that the real divide is between globalisation and nationalism, but this distinction fails to capture what is really at stake, namely the accountability of political power… [Full Details]

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The Real Sterling Crisis

The Real Sterling Crisis: Why the UK needs a policy to keep the exchange rate down

Roger Bootle and John Mills, September 2016

The fall in the value of sterling since the vote for Brexit has had commentators wringing their hands with concern. But why are so many so quick to assume that a cheaper pound is a bad thing? The truth, as leading economists Roger Bootle and John Mills explain here, is that the British economy has suffered from an overvalued pound for many years. It has… [Full Details]

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Defence Acquisition for the Twenty-first Century

Defence Acquisition for the Twenty-first Century

Bernard Jenkin (ed.), June 2015

The recent campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq came at a heavy cost to Britain's military capabilities. However, rather than replenish the forces with the equipment they needed, spending reviews in the last parliament saw defence expenditure so drastically reduced that the equipment used up in the campaigns cannot be replaced. These cuts have left all three services with large deficiencies in key areas. There… [Full Details]

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There is An Alternative

There is An Alternative: An economic strategy for 2015

John Mills, March 2014

The economic recovery has finally taken hold, but serious doubts remain about its strength, its sustainability and its ability to deliver improved living standards for all. In this hard-hitting critique of the UK's growth prospects, entrepreneur and economist John Mills warns that the current economic model is unsustainable and risks years of stagnation. By the time of the 2015 general election, living standards… [Full Details]

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Transforming the Market

Transforming the Market: Towards a new political economy

Patrick Diamond, November 2013

Britain is at risk of a return to the unsustainable debt-fuelled growth that left the economy so badly exposed during the 2008 financial crisis. While recent growth figures have been encouraging, little has been done on the more fundamental task of rebalancing the economy and tackling the chronic short-termism which has held the UK back. Patrick Diamond, a former Downing Street adviser under… [Full Details]

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A Competitive Pound for a Stronger Economy

A Competitive Pound for a Stronger Economy

John Mills, October 2013

Recessions happen because there is insufficient demand to keep everyone occupied productively. The only solution is more demand, not less. Increases in demand, however, require major contributions from both the private sector as well as the public sector to be sustainable. Economists and policy makers, however, have a long history of looking the other way and ignoring the need for more demand to combat recessions… [Full Details]

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An Exchange Rate Target

An Exchange Rate Target: Why we need one

John Mills, April 2013

It is increasingly being recognised that the over-valued pound is holding back the competitiveness of British exporters. While sterling has fallen since 2008, the advantages have not been felt because of continued uncertainty. In this urgent and insightful publication, the economist and entrepreneur, John Mills, argues that the government should set a competitive exchange rate target and take active measures to achieve it. As… [Full Details]

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Beyond the plc

Beyond the plc

Greg Fisher and Paul Ormerod, April 2013

What is wrong with contemporary capitalism? Was the financial crisis of 2008 caused by deep structural problems in the way firms are organised? Here two of Britain's most creative thinkers tackle these questions head on, showing that the UK lacks diversity in its forms of corporate governance and is too reliant on the plc model, which has been shown in recent years to have… [Full Details]

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Rebalancing the British Economy

Rebalancing the British Economy

Edited by Tristram Hunt, March 2013

No other country in the world - including the United States - has allowed such a strong anti-interventionist economic policy to take hold in recent years. We, in Britain, have been restricted by the economic disasters of the 70s - which eventually required a bailout of over $4billion from the IMF - to such an extent that laissez-faire has ruled our ideological roost for several decades. But… [Full Details]

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The German Sparkassen (Savings Banks)

The German Sparkassen (Savings Banks)

Christopher Simpson, January 2013

Commentators across the political spectrum are pointing to the German system of local banks as a model for Britain to emulate. In this report, Christopher Simpson explains how these local German Savings Banks (Sparkassen) operate. He describes the history, structure and organisation of the Sparkassen, which are only allowed to lend within a geographically defined area and, as a result, develop close relationships with their… [Full Details]

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Selling Circuits Short

Selling Circuits Short: Improving the prospects of the British electronics industry

Stephen L. Clarke & Georgia Plank, August 2012

Electronics products are pervasive but we tend to take their presence for granted. Those which do attract public interest are consumer electronics whose production is often dominated by companies in the Far East. This perhaps explains why Britain’s electronics industry has been undervalued, with the Government failing to recognise its significance in the UK’s struggle for economic growth. Selling Circuits Short is a… [Full Details]

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The Boomerang Economy

The Boomerang Economy: Why British offshored manufacturers are returning home and how to maximise this trend

Laurence Kotlikoff, July 2012

Over the last decade, the offshoring of UK industry has been well publicised. Now we are beginning to see a new trend: onshoring – the return of British manufacturers from overseas. In The Boomerang Economy, David Merlin-Jones examines the reasons why this is happening and how the UK government can encourage it… [Full Details]

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The Economic Consequences of the Vickers Commission

The Economic Consequences of the Vickers Commission

Laurence Kotlikoff, July 2012

The Vickers Commission was meant to put a stop to this by safeguarding ordinary retail banks from the gambling of investment banks. Laurence J. Kotlikoff shows that the Vickers proposals fail to do this. Even banks deemed ‘good’ can turn bad, since no one can predict which ‘safe’ assets will actually be safe in the future. Moreover, ‘bad’ banks are still left too big and… [Full Details]

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Street Cred

Street Cred: Local Banks and Strong Local Economies

Stephen L. Clarke, May 2012

Imagine an industry dominated by businesses that offer poor service, enjoy a terrible public image and lose billions of pounds. They don't go bust, but increase their market share under a supportive regulatory system. A ludicrous scenario, of course - but it describes much of Britain's banking industry today. Street Cred examines the failings of the current British banking market and the lessons that… [Full Details]

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Extending Lending

Extending Lending: The Case for a State-backed Investment Bank

David Merlin-Jones, February 2012

In this report, David Merlin-Jones argues that the only way to revive lending permanently is to go beyond restructuring commercial banks. Britain needs a new state-backed investment bank, described here as the 'Enterprise Bank' (EB). This would be able to raise cheap credit in the financial markets by using the UK's AAA credit rating and could pass this on to borrowers. It… [Full Details]

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CO2.1: Beyond the EU's Emissions Trading System

David Merlin-Jones, January 2012

Merlin-Jones argues that the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) will have no effect on many companies' emissions until 2016-18, over a decade after it came into force. It is so ineffective and expensive that attempts to patch it up are doomed to failure. A new approach to carbon reduction is required. He proposes a new flat carbon tax to replace the… [Full Details]

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The Green Mirage

The Green Mirage: Why a low-carbon economy may be further off than we think

John Constable, August 2011

The move towards a low-carbon economy has been described as the second industrial revolution. As state mandates drive the adoption of renewable energy sources, we are assured that multiple benefits will result. In The Green Mirage, John Constable challenges this optimistic scenario. Constable marshals evidence suggesting that target-led, state-managed and subsidy-driven clean energy policies are likely to cause the remature adoption… [Full Details]

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Reviving British Manufacturing

Reviving British Manufacturing: Why? What? How?

Alan Reece, July 2011

Alan Reece, an academic-turned-successful-manufacturer, argues that we must revive our manufacturing industry. However, the problems are enormous. Between 1997 and 2008 manufacturing output remained flat at around GBP150 billion a year. Allowing for inflation, this represents a real reduction of around GBP3.5 billion a year. Alan Reece argues that we need to increase our output of goods by GBP10 billion a… [Full Details]

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Chain Reactions

Chain Reactions: How the Chemical Industry Can Shrink Our Carbon Footprint

David Merlin-Jones, May 2011

Drawing on interviews with experts in the chemical industry, Merlin- Jones argues that the chemicals sector is the key to reducing UK carbon emissions and ensuring economic prosperity. Britain needs a policy that ensures an even footing for chemical firms competing internationally, by keeping the UK's energy costs attractive. Only this will allow chemical firms to provide the products vital to combatting climate change… [Full Details]

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Prosperity with Principles

Prosperity with Principles: Some policies for economic growth

David Green, April 2010

The recession has sparked a debate about the renewal of manufacturing. It is now generally accepted that the government should create the conditions in which manufacturing can flourish. How it should do so is strongly disputed. David Green presents new thinking on how to encourage economic growth without compromising our commitment to free enterprise.He advocates 'prosperity policy', which does not dismiss state aid, but… [Full Details]

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Nations Choose Prosperity Why Britain Needs an Industrial Policy

Nations Choose Prosperity Why Britain Needs an Industrial Policy

Ruth Lea, July 2009

After years of being seen as outmoded, industrial policy is back on the political agenda, this time renamed 'industrial activism'. There is a widespread concern, fuelled by the crisis in the financial sector, that we have been too complacent about the decline in UK manufacturing, assuming that service industries would guarantee continuing prosperity with or without a vibrant manufacturing base. No one argues for protectionism… [Full Details]

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