Our Work Social Market Foundation

Ending the divide

We have some of the best universities in the world and, recognising their critical role in social mobility, we insist that access is determined by merit rather than by means. Yet when it comes to our independent schools, we accept … Continued

Our new look

Now we look different: a new logo, a new website, a new look for our publications.

The NHS funding gap: Muddling through?

The news today has been filled with discussion of the imminent cash crisis in the NHS. Reports suggest that by next year there will be a black hole of £2bn. But SMF Research Director Nigel Keohane believes that muddling through and finding a way of coping with this immediate shortfall ignores the fundamental problems.

Unlocking development: the role of enterprise

SMF Chief Economist Nida Broughton outlines the discussion of a policy roundtable SMF hosted a roundtable with researchers from the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy – Professor Chris Woodruff and Dr Rocco Macchiavellio – who presented their findings from a range of studies in developing countries, including Sri Lanka, Chile and Kenya.

We Need To Talk About Poverty

Today’s reports from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission should explode the idea that we will have made any substantial progress on reducing child poverty by 2020. In the face of this, SMF Director Emran Mian argues that we may need to start talking about alternative measures for what success looks like by 2020 and then derive a policy programme from those.

Come Together (And Share Risk)

SMF Director Emran Mian looks at the Queen’s Speech and argues that one of the dividing lines in politics – between collectivism and individualism – is vanishing.

The Way We Pay Now

SMF Director Emran Mian looks at figures from the British Retail Consortium’s Payments Survey that appear to show cash is slowly falling out of favour with Britain’s shoppers as the preferred way to pay.

Help to Buy in the global capital

Social Market Foundation Director Emran Mian looks at how cash might be the real villain when it come to rising prices in the UK housing market

The Savings Slump

Social Market Foundation Director Emran Mian offers analysis of a new ONS survey of wealth which reveals a savings slump – the proportion of households with a savings account has slumped from 68% to 58% between 2008/10 and 2010/12.

From the SMF Archive: Free Schools debated…in 1993

SMF Director Emran Mian continues his journey through the Social Market Foundation archives. This week he finds a publication dating from 1993 by Evan Davis (now of BBC) setting out the stall for what we would now term ‘Free Schools’.

What happened to deposits at the Co-op?

SMF Research Associate Cormac Hollingsworth pores through the Annual Report of Co-op Bank and finds it provides some useful information about what happens to bank deposits when an institution is under stress and the effect of the government’s guarantee on bank deposits.

On Piketty: The charts don’t work

SMF Director Emran Mian writes a short blog about Thomas Piketty. As such, there are probably three things that are worth saying at the outset. One, he’s read the book – check. Two, he read it because he is worried about inequality. But three, he’s pretty suspicious of general theories in anything other than philosophy. Most days he’d take a bit of Parfit over a set of charts.

How to make progress on low pay

The latest deliberations of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee published this week provide some good Easter cheer, with members concluding that ‘it was likely that productivity had started to rise after several years of stagnation’. This may mean that real wages can start to edge upwards once again. But SMF Research Director Nigel Keohane believes that before we get too excited we should look properly at our baseline on both pay and productivity.

Self-employment: not just for the downturn

Today’s ONS figures show the self-employed account for just under 15% of total employment, the highest it has been in two decades. The numbers in self-employment have grown by over 7% in year, compared to growth of just 1.6% in the number of employees. SMF Chief Economist Nida Broughton asks whether this a good thing or not?