Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom


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

February’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter


A critical time for the NHS

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


The debate over Net Neutrality

January’16 Financial & Banking Features Newsletter


Latest publications

The 2016 reform of the UK labour market


The UK labour market at the beginning of 2016 is in a rather good shape. The rate of unemployment has decreased steadily in the last two years and is now approaching pre-crisis figures. Employment at 73.9% is reaching also record levels.
Presenting the summer budget, George Osborne, the (...)

How fiscal policy of the 1400s created Industrial Revolution in the 1800s


The Nobel-Laureate Douglass North passed away at the end of November. Though he didn’t specialise in fiscal questions, his analysis of institutions in early modern Europe reveals that actual fiscal choices about how to finance an army help to determine the fortunes and falls of European powers. (...)

No Schwexit, at least for now.
New developments in the land of the fiscally federal.

Sugar taxation won’t work and anway, there’s a better way.


The UK government has been watching Jamie Oliver’s TV shows and now wants to implement his plans for a new tax on sugar. The Commons‘ Health Committee has reported its overwhelming support for the idea at the end of November. Other than arguments that such taxes are “good per se“ because they will (...)

UK government is wrong. 5p for plastic bags *is* a tax. And it’s badly designed.


At the beginning of October, England became the last constituent part of the United Kingdom to introduce a compulsory charge for plastic shopping bags (to be paid by the shopper), after similar taxes had been introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in previous years. The relevant (...)

Policy Paper: Asylum migration and barriers to labour market entry
Policy recommendations for easier access

Asylum migration and barriers to labour market entry
Policy recommendations for easier access

December’15 Financial & Fiscal Features Newsletter


Problems executing QE cause market confidence in the ECB to dip. What policy changes should we expect from the ECB in 2016?
Reports from the European Banking Authority and Bank of England claim that banks are healthy, but weak measures of capital are (...)

How taxes have created the cheating Volkswagen


Strange behaviours are often caused by strange taxes or subsidies. The strange behaviour of Volkswagen believing it could cheat and not get found out was motivated partly by the strange tax/subsidy policies in Europe which subsidised diesel at the cost of petrol (...)

Populism and government greed jeopardise rule of law


In an alarming trend, individuals, companies and institutions that have committed no crime are increasingly finding themselves subject to public witch-hunts on ill-defined ‘ethics’ charges. The practice is gaining traction in several countries, though it remains unclear who has the authority to (...)

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