It is a very common view that “importing” foreign football players into the UK to play in the Premier League leads to less opportunity for English players to play for these teams. This means that English players get less high-level experience, and consequently aren’t as good as the players of Spain, France, Italy or Germany, who make up a larger fraction of the players playing in their home leagues. This, the argument runs, is an important factor in explaining the English national team’s perceived underperformance in international competitions. I review the literature and present novel data establishing a negative relationship between current performance (as measured by FIFA ranking) and the current amount of football played in a league by native players (across Spain, England, Germany and Italy). Further, I find no relationship between minutes played by English players in the Premier League five or ten years ago and current performance. Finally, I find strong evidence that a league’s overall strength (as measured by its UEFA coefficient) is predicted by the current amount of foreigners playing in it. To restrict foreign players would not directly benefit the English national team, but it would risk substantially curtailing the overall quality of the world’s most popular football league.
Gabriel Sahlgren shows the relationship between educational outcomes and economic growth and argues that expanding access to private education would improve long-run GDP growth dramatically.
Estimated to be spending £100m over its targeted budget, UKTI is not delivering enough exports to justify its costs. This report argues that UKTI is representative of some of the worst inefficiencies of the bloated quango state.
ASI Senior Fellow Miles Saltiel, in his Brexit Prize Shortlisted essay, explains how the UK would go about leaving the EU if the public voted against continued membership in a referendum.
Julian Morris reviews the evidence around plain packaging for cigarettes from Australia, the only country to have tried the policy so far. It finds that plain packaging has not had a noticeable impact on smoking rates, but has led to a significant rise in counterfeits, which are more easily available for underage smokers.
Ben Southwood reviews the evidence around the incidence of the corporation tax, finding that more than half appears to come out of workers’ wages, with the remainder coming as an economically harmful capital tax.
How school vouchers can harness choice and competition to bring greater quality and equality in education. A joint publication of the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Market Reform in Education.
The zombie firms plaguing Britain's economy, and what to do about them.
Jamie Whyte is a management consultant and former lecturer in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. This collection of his best columns for newspapers including The Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times captures his entertaining, thought-provoking style. Whyte is primarily concerned with the relationship between the state and individuals: invariably arguing that politicians should back off and leave us to make decisions for ourselves.
Nigel Hawkins identifies £40bn of assets that the state could sell off to cut taxes or pay down the debt, including government-owned real estate, parts of state-owned companies like National Rail, and utilities that the government should not be running in the first place.