The Adam Smith Institute is one of the world’s leading think tanks. Independent, non-profit, and non-partisan, we work to promote free markets and a free society, through research, economic analysis, publishing, media outreach, and public education. We inject economics and sound ideas into public debate and help shift the climate of opinion.
The ASI has been repeatedly recognised for its impact, with the University of Pennsylvania ranking it as the leading domestic and international economic policy think-tank in the UK and as the leading Independent Think Tank globally.
The ASI has always been a practical think tank rather than a purely academic organisation. Despite its strict political independence, it has worked with policymakers to deliver real change, and to make its ideas reality.
The ASI pioneered ‘Micropolitics’, which analyses the impact of policies on different interest groups, and the application of public choice theory in the 1980s, to enable policy change. The ASI prides itself in its ability to shift the “Overton Window”, the spectrum of acceptable discourse and policies, to truly change the world.
We currently have a three-key pillars of research:
- Making the fundamental case for free markets & liberty. The tax burden has reached its highest level in decades. Inflation rose above 10%. Government bureaucracy and red tape has grown too. Wealth creators and entrepreneurs are demonised all too often. Following Brexit, “Global Britain” needs to look further afield to boost trade and investment, building partnerships globally. So, the fundamental case for free markets & liberty must be made again.
- Growth, supply side reforms, and appropriate regulation. Low economic growth and productivity stagnation are holding us back. To make everyone richer, we need to make it easier to set up businesses, build infrastructure, attract specialist skills, go to work (e.g. childcare) and afford a home. The regulatory burden and red tape needs to be reduced, with new rules well tailored to industry requirements and innovation. Such reform is essential to increase wages, create jobs, and reduce intergenerational & regional divides.
- Future technology and progress studies.Entrepreneurs are powering huge innovations. The UK is a leader in many exciting areas from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, FinTech, nuclear energy and digital assets. To reap the available rewards, we must create the right legal environment, so these technologies can be deployed and exported safely, successfully and rapidly. The UK also needs to collaborate with other international tech hubs, like Dubai, Singapore, and Silicon Valley.
We know that free markets and capitalism have already been proven to be the best way of reducing poverty and giving people the freedom to live the lives they want. Our work is inspired by Adam Smith, and is heavily empirical, grounded in practice and evidence from around the world. Though we favour bold, radical policy solutions to society’s problems over the status quo of managed decline, we base the case for this in facts not dogma.
Adam Smith was born over 300 years ago. We have consistently celebrated his legacy as the Father of Economics. The ASI erected his 10-foot bronze statue on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, holds the annual Adam Smith Lecture, and publishes primers on his works, ensuring he remains relevant to modern discourse outside of dusty textbooks and libraries.
We endeavour to inform students, whether in secondary or tertiary education on Smith’s lessons, from the role of markets and morality, to the benefits of free trade and entrepreneurship. In school talks, internships, The Next Generation group and the highly competitive week-long seminar series, Freedom Week, our staff and Fellows have been at the forefront of inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs, intellectuals and leaders.