The Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues is a no-profit research centre. The IREF was founded in 2002 by representatives of the civil society coming from the academic and business world and willing to establish an efficient platform to investigate fiscal and taxation questions from a free market perspective. The Institute adopts and aims to start and contribute to economic and political debates. Discussing and analysing a broad variety of topics, IREF intends to provide policy considerations and suggestions to show paths of reform and change.
Specifically IREF contributes to national and European debates in two main ways.
1. The Institute supports economic research and publishes the outcomes in different forms:
- Every month IREF publishes a Newsletter on Financial and Banking Features that are affecting the EU.
- IREF publishes policy-oriented articles in the Policy Paper Series.
- Scientific economic articles are published in the Working Paper Series. Every article also provides a non-technical Executive Summary.
- Finally, weekly Online Articles cover and discuss recent events and proposals for economic reform.
2. The research of the Institute is also distributed during specialised international workshops focusing on particular topic of interest.
TOPICS OF RESEARCH
Governments and administrations
IREF believes in an efficient, non-invasive and small Government, able to partner with the private sector.
A country’s balanced and sustainable national budget requires careful and contained public spending. IREF is keen to study ways to ensure a controlled reduction of public expenditure, budget deficits, and public debt.
Income and Taxes
IREF envisions an efficient and competitive taxation system. To work adequately a fiscal system should provide stability and clear incentives to economic agents, both households and companies. IREF studies focus on various aspects of taxation and fiscal policies, including the effects of significant reforms such as the introduction of flat tax rates. Regarding complex systems such as the EU, the Institute’s research recognises the desirability of fiscal competition and stresses the drawbacks of tax harmonisation.
Companies and Regulations
IREF believes in competition and in particular on the role that companies play in enhancing research and innovation. It is vital to identify and remove those obstacles to innovation that may be created by inefficient regulation and unnecessary bureaucracy.
Jobs and Unemployment
IREF believes in a flexible and efficient labour market. It is particularly important the way the UK and other national contexts interact with the EU market. The effects on each economy of welfare, labour and migration reforms need to be studied, understood and assessed within a European framework.
Housing is a critical part of the social and financial development of a country. It affects the welfare and wealth of citizens. It is still an unresolved challenge for many Governments. IREF studies and assesses social housing programs with the aim in particular to understand the role that a free and competitive market may play in providing affordable and sustainable housing.
Education and health care
Education of new generations and diffusion of knowledge is vital for the future development of a country. In addition the creation and development of productive human capital requires effective and sustainable health care. IREF studies the outcomes of education and health reforms, and in particular the way incentives and financial responsibility may increase the efficiency and efficacy of the sectors. The Institute is particularly keen in assessing the effects of reforms that favour the formation of public/private competition.
An ageing population is a challenge for the UK and the EU. Reforms of the pension systems and the study of the effects of retirement on human capital need to take this into consideration. The Institute’s research stresses the importance of competition among (public and private) providers. Ageing is also a great opportunity for business and policymakers. The elderly population represents a new, mature and often unexplored market that requires specialised and tailored goods and services. IREF is keen in studying and exploring the effects of public/private partnerships that target the creation of business together with the satisfaction of needs of an ageing population.