The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is the UK’s first original free-market think tank. A registered educational and research charity based in London, the IEA was first conceived after founder Antony Fisher read a summary of F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom in an issue of Reader’s Digest. After speaking with Hayek, who advised him to avoid politics in favor of intellectuals, and publishing his own book, The Case for Freedom, the IEA was born with Fisher as director in 1955.
Today the mission of the IEA remains what is first was: “to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analyzing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.”
To this end, the IEA conducts highly principled research and publishing of books and a quarterly journal on such topics as Development, Economic Theory, Education, Environment and Transport, Ethics, The European Union, Fiscal Policy, Industry and Privatization, International Policy, Labour, Monetary Policy, Regulation, Trade and Welfare. While most of the authors are commissioned, some IEA staff does research and writing as well. IEA publications are distributed and sold throughout the world and have been reprinted and translated into over twenty five languages.
The IEA also hosts conferences, seminars, lectures, and working lunches and discussion of its themes. Recent events have included the book launch “Good Money” and discussion, “Getting To Grips With Public Sector Pensions,” and “Economic Issues for Christians in the Modern World.”
The student outreach programme is another way the IAE works to accomplish its mission. While many of IEA’s books are mandatory reading at universities and colleges, the IEA often holds special seminars and lectures for students in Westminster. Furthermore, scholarship money is available for the annual Political Economy Conference and Annual State of the Economy Conference so that students and teachers go can free of charge. There are also events for post-graduate students, and the annual Student Essay Competition for students under the ages of 18.