Markets are the best way to create and distribute wealth, but they don’t always work well for all the people in them. We research ways that sensible interactions between the state and the private sector can maximise growth and fairness.
Mutual understanding: The modern mutual sector and how to support it
Mutuality has a rich history, but it remains largely misunderstood. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the modern mutual sector, exploring its key opportunities and challenges.
|Published:||22 June 2023|
Fair or fowl? The state and future of farmed animal welfare in the UK
The UK is a nation of animal lovers, but are we doing enough to understand and reduce animal suffering everywhere– even farms? In this report, we attempt to identify a working definition and practical measure of animal welfare to understand where we are as a society, and where we might be headed. It is the first of three reports investigating the likelihood and potential for alternative proteins to reducing animal suffering.
|Published:||25 May 2023|
|Author(s):||Jake Shepherd, Khazna Chami, Aveek Bhattacharya|
Giving back: How to foster a stronger and more resilient charity sector
The UK’s charity sector has been resilient to recent shocks, but it is unclear how long this can last. This report suggests ways in which government can protect the sector’s long term viability, by instilling long term planning and sustainable financial models.
|Published:||17 April 2023|
Insurance and the poverty premium
People in poverty regularly face a poverty premium in the insurance market. Not only is that unfair, it also leads to worse outcomes for people, families and society – and it risks trust in the market mechanism. In this report, we conceptualise drivers of the poverty premium and call on the government, the insurance industry, and regulators to establish policies that can protect people in poverty from paying more for coverage.
|Published:||13 March 2023|
|Author(s):||Matthew Oakley, James Kirkup|
Reducing the burden of government regulation
Government regulations can result in higher consumers prices, make businesses less competitive, and they can prevent innovation and reinforce barriers to entry. In this paper, Harvard Senior Fellow and Regulatory Policy Committee Chair Stephen Gibson, reviews previous efforts to reduce red tape.
|Published:||09 March 2023|
|Author(s):||Stephen Gibson, Will Henshall, Tasila Banda|
The Nanny and the Night Watchman: The Conservative case for regulating freedom in a failed market
In the Conservative political tradition, state regulation is often viewed in binary terms – its presence an intrusion, and its absence a mark of freedom. This has certainly been the case in the ongoing debate surrounding the review of the 2005 Gambling Act. In this personal essay, SMF Senior Fellow Dr James Noyes rejects the binary view in favour of a more nuanced approach to regulation and the role that the state can – and should – play in the gambling market.
|Published:||28 February 2023|
|Author:||Dr James Noyes|
Getting in the spirit? Alcohol and the Scottish economy
The Scottish economy’s global reputation for producing alcohol has come with historically high levels of drinking and harm. The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a range of regulations on alcohol marketing. Analysing the relationship between alcohol and the Scottish economy, we find that such regulation is unlikely to have much of an effect on the Scottish economy, since so much of Scottish alcohol production – most notably whisky – is sold abroad.
|Published:||09 February 2023|
Squeezed out or opting out? Understanding ethnic differences in use of financial products and services
The ethnic minority gap in financial products such as pensions and insurance is well-documented, but poorly understood. Drawing on existing and new survey data, and in-depth interviews, this report seeks to understand the scale of this gap, and possible explanations behind it, as well as proposing recommendations to policymakers and the industry on how to reduce the risk of disadvantage faced by ethnic minorities.
|Published:||06 February 2023|
|Author(s):||Niamh O Regan, Aveek Bhattacharya, Gideon Salutin, Scott Corfe|
Just a click away: How e-commerce can boost UK exports and growth
The UK has had an exports problem since the financial crisis of 2008, further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this report, we show that e-commerce should be a key focus of trade policy effort as it offers a route to get more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) exporting, and how to remove the barriers they face.
|Published:||02 November 2022|
|Author(s):||Richard Hyde, Scott Corfe|