Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


6th June - IREF Workshop in London
in cooperation with St. Mary’s University

The next IREF workshop will take place on the 6th of June co-organised and hosted by St. Mary’s University, London, in the Main Campus.
Attendance is free. Please, contact Prof. Enrico Colombatto for further information .


Universal Credit and Cross Generation Inequality after the Welfare System Reform in the UK

May’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter


(Br)Exit Strategy

The sector of delivery services and the privatization of Royal Mail


April’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

Some technical points on accounting concerns and potential ECB support of insolvent banks

The market for sex, human trafficking and the EU


Latest publications

Tax policies in Poland, Slovakia, and Bulgaria: sitting on a ticking bomb or catching up with the West?

After the end of communism, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe shared very similar challenges. Despite the different patterns of transition, the dominant model of “catching up with the West” included the adoption of western legal and institutional standards. In economic terms, this meant (...)

The Northern Powerhouse

An historic decentralization deal in England
There is historically in England a North/South division. In the South, trade and financial services have made London the target of international investments and the principal source of economic growth in the country. In the North, there is no city (...)

March’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter
“Still Talking to a Brick Wall” (OECD’s William White on central banks response to cautionary advice).

Central Banking
Bank share prices recover after further falls early February. However, credibility of ECB increasingly questioned as it considers further expansionary policies.
Fears of a renewed banking crisis, which had seemed a possibility in January, abated in February. By March 7th, (...)

The Intellectual Property Rights Battle in the era of the Mass Customisation Revolution

Addictive Manufacturing (AM) is the name adopted in industries whose production is defined by the use of large scale 3D printing techniques. 3D printing is a technology which builds three-dimensional objects from a digital prototype. Today AM represents the foremost level of digitalisation in (...)

The Italian (Bad) Bank

A deteriorated banking sector in a worn-out economy At the beginning of 2016, in the context of the new EU legislation on “bail in”, Italy found itself unprepared to face the emerging crisis of its credit system, mainly caused by two correlated elements: 1. a banking sector weakened by a large (...)

The confluence of ideas and interests in the process of rent destruction: the case of UK tax policy 1979-1997

Most of the literature on rent-seeking and the size of government expenditure has focused on the mechanisms through which policy-makers gather the necessary majorities to justify and expand the role of the state, and thus increase tax pressure.
By contrast, the authors of this paper examine a (...)

February’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter

Jittery January Markets - Does the ECB have Contingency Plans? The ECB must be aware that investors’ confidence in stock markets, particularly bank shares, dropped in January. If contingency plans exist, they are likely to fall short of purchasing non-performing loans.
The media consensus in (...)

A critical time for the NHS

How is NHS coping with winter?
Winter is historically, and not surprisingly, a very challenging time for the UK National Health System, NHS, due to lower temperatures and the spread of viral infections. Winter 2015/2016 seems to be particularly bad and the system is showing clear signs of a (...)

Tax evasion, intrinsic motivation, and the evolutionary effect of a flat rate

Executive Summary
The traditional literature on tax evasion frames taxpayers’ choices in terms of rather basic cost-benefit analyses involving the expected monetary return to tax evasion. Briefly put, individuals take action by considering the probability of being caught and the sanctions (...)

The debate over Net Neutrality

Net neutrality: what is the debate about?
The Internet has probably been the fastest developing industry of the last two decades, leading it to become a necessary instrument in our daily life and a possible engine of economic growth. In this context, the net neutrality principle broadly says (...)

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