Using free markets to create a richer, freer, happier world. 


The Adam Smith Institute is one of the world's leading think tanks. Independent, non-profit and non-partisan, we work to promote libertarian and free market ideas through research, publishing, media commentary, and educational programmes. The Institute is today at the forefront of making the case for free markets and a free society in the United Kingdom.

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Freedom from poverty through markets and economic growth

Central to our mission is our belief that free markets work best for the poor. No system has raised people out of poverty and given them the freedom to live their lives as they wish like free markets have, and in politics today it is usually the poorest people who bear the brunt of the government's worst policies in areas like education, health and welfare. Our mission is to use free markets to end poverty in Britain and around the world. We believe in:

  • Low, simple, flat taxes that encourage investment and innovation, and hence economic growth.
  • A voucher-based education system that gives parents and schools complete freedom over how and where children are educated.
  • A privately-provided, publicly-funded healthcare system where patient outcomes, not NHS wages, are the focus.
  • Freedom of trade with the world, and a liberal immigration system that is designed to work for migrants and natives alike. 
  • A liberalised planning system that lets many more houses be built, so everyone can afford to own their own home.
  • A simple welfare system based around a Negative Income Tax or Basic Income that tops up the wages of the poor and guarantees that work always pays.
  • Free market money and an end to bailouts of private banks, in all their forms.

Read more about our policy positions.


Planning reform

Read our work on housing and planning, including how rolling back some of the Green Belt would give us enough land for one million new houses.

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Lower, flatter taxes

How lower, simpler, flatter taxes would give us enormous efficiency gains and create an economic boom in Britain.

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Though the Institute does not take a formal stance on Brexit, we believe that many of the arguments against leaving have been overstated. Brexit should be viewed as a long process, not a once-off event, and as such the UK would be wise to disengage slowly from the EU if it votes to leave:

  • It should remain in the Single Market, including maintaining freedom of movement with EU member states.
  • It should make political disintegration the centre of its withdrawal from the EU. "Economic union, not political union" should be the mantra.

Read why Britain should join the EEA and adopt an 'evolution, not revolution' approach when it leaves.

Read why Britain will have more control over the regulation that affects it outside the bloc.

Read our 'Liberal case for Leave'.


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Latest Research

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Read about Adam Smith's main work of moral philosophy, which argued that man's regard for himself underpins his regard for others.

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The Life of Adam Smith

Adam Smith lived during the Scottish Enlightenment alongside such other greats as David Hume, and he can only be understood as a product of this time.

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The Wealth of Nations

Smith's magnum opus, the foundation of modern economic and liberal thought, still enlightens readers today.

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The Entrepreneurs Network is the Adam Smith Institute's sister think tank, for the ambitious owners of Britain’s fastest growing businesses and aspirational entrepreneurs. Through research, events and the media, it bridges the gap between entrepreneurs and policymakers to help make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

It supports entrepreneurs by:

  • Producing cutting-edge research outlining the benefits of easing unnecessary burdens upon enterprise;
  • Hosting regular events to bridge the gap between the aspirations of the entrepreneurial community and policy makers;
  • Building a network of entrepreneurs who are keen to improve the public policy debate;
  • Championing entrepreneurship and making the case for a more entrepreneurial society.

Find out more.