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Iain Murray

Member of: FEE Faculty Network

Iain Murray is the Competitive Enterprise Institute's vice president of strategy. For the past decade with the Institute, he has concentrated on financial regulation, employment and immigration regulation and free market environmentalism.

Murray has published several acclaimed books, including Stealing You Blind: How Government Fatcats Are Getting Rich Off of You and The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Won’t Tell You About – Because They Helped Cause Them. His op-eds have appeared in The National Review, The Providence Journal and Fox News. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN Headline News, the BBC and Al-Jazeera, among other broadcast networks.

In addition to his work at CEI, Murray is the visiting fellow at the Adam Smith Institute and board members of the Cherish Freedom Trust and American Friends of the Taxpayers Alliance and advisory board members of Global Britain and Young Britons Foundation.

Prior to coming to CEI in 2003, Murray was the Director of Research for the Statistical Assessment Service and an Executive Officer in HM Department of Transport. He received his MBA from the University of London and his MA from the University of Oxford.

Iain Murray's Articles

Unleash the Market's Creative Destruction

Whether jobs are lost to trade or innovation, the best policy response is deregulation. The economy will not improve as long as Americans see financial regulations as rules that keep bankers in line rather than barriers to regular people who could be opening small businesses.

- February 15, 2017

Green Card Policy Shows Executive Power Run Amok

What we have seen over the past few days is a textbook example of why Congress needs to stop delegating its power to the Executive and instead claw it back.

- February 09, 2017

Free Traders Shouldn't Mourn the Loss of the TPP

Harmonization can lead to conformity and stagnation – resulting in superior alternatives not being explored. Rather, policymakers should look to competition among regulatory regimes. This “discovery process” is a better way to reduce transaction costs and thus increase voluntary wealth creation.

Providing companies with a choice of regulatory regimes often works better than a single uniform regulatory structure or a harmonized system. Centralized regulators can suffer from limited information and pressures from special interest groups. Dispersed regulatory structures can satisfy different preferences, try varied approaches to regulating, gain information about what works and what doesn’t, and provide feedback to learn more about the cost effectiveness of specific rules. Regulatory competition provides these benefits.

- January 26, 2017

Lower Costs, Not Regulations, Will Save the Environment

Costs related to transactions are preventing us from building greater wealth. Meanwhile, regulations result in increased transaction costs. A focus on lowering transaction costs and reducing regulations is the best way to build wealth and help the environment. 

- January 07, 2017

9 Ways Lyft Is Lifting Our Spirits

The ridesharing platform Lyft has just released it's economic impact assessment. It looks like a lot of people are going to be better off this Christmas than they were before.

- December 16, 2016

5 Ways Consumer "Protection" Makes Us Poorer

Like most government programs, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is accomplishing the opposite of what its name implies. We'd be better off without these bureaucrats constantly meddling in our lives.

- December 15, 2016

San Francisco Turns against Its Own Startup Airbnb

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to limit all home-sharing to 60 days a year, except for residents who registered with the city before November 15, 2016. By approving this arbitrary limit, the Board has abandoned any pretense that its regulations protect housing affordability, safety, or neighborhood integrity.

- December 11, 2016

How AirBNB Awakens Dormant Capital

If you have a resource you don’t need, and someone offers something you value in exchange for it, the exchange creates wealth. You get something more valuable than what you had before, and the other party does as well. That’s wealth creation. And it’s exactly what Airbnb is empowering millions of people around the world to do.


- November 22, 2016

An Existential Threat to the UK’s Sharing Economy

A UK Employment Tribunal has completely misunderstood the structure of the sharing economy. Iain Murray explains why and how it is that Uber drivers are not employees but independent businesses that use Uber to establish contact with customers. 

- October 31, 2016

One Driver's Story Shows the Benefits of the Sharing Economy

For most of Anglo-American history, the right to earn a living was regarded as “the most precious liberty man possesses.". Yet today, in the US and Europe, occupational licensing places substantial burdens on people wanting to follow trades as diverse as hair-braiding and appliance repair. Had Uber not existed, my driver would have been on welfare benefits, either in Spain or the UK, and probably decried as a “welfare tourist” or worse.

- October 14, 2016

Work Is Changing for the Better, and Government Is Trying to Hold It Back

As technology reduces transaction costs, the nature of work and the role of the firm are changing. Decades-old government regulations inhibit the market's ability to respond.

- October 13, 2016

Mr. Robot Deals Frankly with Bitcoin and the Future of Money

The worst solution is a government-backed digital currency, and Mr. Robot nicely illustrates this. 

- September 26, 2016

The Prisoners’ Dilemma of Britain and the EU

The UK and EU are now like inmates stuck in their own psychic prisons, while the rest of the world watches from outside.

- June 29, 2016

DC Takes Aim at Airbnb, Hits Existing Rental Industry

The anti-Airbnb backlash is an attempt to shove the square peg of a new market phenomenon into the round hole of regulations written for a different market.

- June 06, 2016

Britain’s Top Tax Hunter Becomes the Prey

When free-market politicians play with statist fire, they are going to get burned.

- May 09, 2016

Why Is the Middle Class So Angry?

Individuals are best helped by giving them the freedom to succeed.

- April 11, 2016

Government Targets the App Economy

The difference this time is that the Luddites enjoy government support.

- March 10, 2016

Why Government Should Not Regulate the App Economy

Gamblers may understand the market better than government regulators do.

- January 21, 2016

Free Market Groups Putting Property Principles into Action

From South Africa to India, free market groups are helping to secure property rights for disenfranchised people  ending decades of injustice.  

- November 30, 2015

How the State Keeps You Working Long Hours

The 4-hour company and the 4-hour workweek are feasible — but only if the government allows them.

- November 10, 2015

Depression-Era Laws Threaten the Sharing Economy

The administration wants to turn back the clock on employment practices.

- October 21, 2015

World’s Poor: “We Want Capitalism”

There are several ways to ensure access to capital in the developing world, but the most important approach is to unlock the productive potential of the capital already available there.

- August 31, 2015

Liquid Capital Was the First Killer App

Deregulation could revive the moribund financial system, but the sharing economy may already be moving on.

- August 17, 2015

The Poor Need Affordable Energy

Reducing artificially high energy costs is the first step in tackling fuel poverty.

- June 02, 2015

Britain Back from the Brink of Socialism

All told, the British election was moderately good news for liberty, not the calamity it might have been.

- May 12, 2015

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