"Public services are never better performed than when their reward comes in consequence of their being performed, and is proportioned to the diligence employed in performing them." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Ideas for the Free World

The Adam Smith Institute was founded in 1977 as a private and independent economic policy institute. Over the years it has extended its capability to promote market-based economic reform ideas internationally and its staff now advise government leaders and train government officials across five continents. It is the only such organization in the world.

The Institute is named after the Scottish economist Adam Smith (1723-1790), whose classic book The Wealth of Nations identified the importance of free markets, fair competition, and limited government.

Today, the writings and ideas of Adam Smith have acquired paramount significance. Government ministers and others in high office now require a deep understanding of the concepts of choice, competition, and open markets to promote reforms in their own national economies.

In the UK, the Adam Smith Institute has played a crucial role in the development of policy including privatization, regulatory reform and government restructuring. The Institute continues to advise the British Prime Minister and government on its continuing economic reforms.

The Adam Smith Institute is, therefore, an effective and influential policy think-tank which:

  • explores new ways of extending choice and competition into public services;
  • designs practical policy strategies;
  • introduces innovative ideas into public policy debate.
  • Putting Ideas into Practice

    Practical policy reforms proposed by the Institute which were once considered 'maverick' are today commonplace worldwide. Such reforms include:

  • competing and privately run utilities;
  • shifting government services away from direct provision towards contracting out;
  • economic regulation that promotes rather than supplants competition;
  • giving consumers greater rights in the supply of government services.
  • Around the World

    The Institute's international advisory work on economic transformation began well before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and continues to be one of the principal themes. The Institute advises governments around the world, and its personnel assist with the work of privatization, the regulatory framework, and the training of government, administration, and business managers.

    In the United Kingdom

    The Institute's policy innovations have produced practical changes and represent a record of achievement unmatched by any other organization. Now the Institute is exploring ways to extend competition and choice even deeper into the public services, to make the tax system reward enterprise, and to reform the welfare state.

    Please now visit the LOBBY where you will find more information about what the Adam Smith Institute does, including details of forthcoming conferences, publications and Adam Smith merchandize.

    © Adam Smith Institute
    Updated: 23/09/96