Lower Sixth Form Economics pupils recently travelled to Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham for the regional IEA Conference.

Founded in 1955, the IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs) is one of the country’s leading economic think-tanks. As well as their conference programme, they run teacher seminars and Oxbridge training days.

At the Conference Downside pupils were treated to four lectures, kicking off with ‘Why pay high?’ from economist Professor Len Shackleton. He presented an interesting perspective on wage variances, referencing Scottish philosopher Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’, to justify why Lewis Hamilton earns £40 million per annum compared to Theresa May’s £150,000.

The presentation on ‘Market failure and state failure in healthcare’ from Dr Kristian Niemietz took Lower Sixth Former Mateusz Kapustka’s interest. Mateusz made a confident contribution to the debate on such issues as ‘Why does technological progress drive up costs in healthcare, but not elsewhere?’ and ‘Do unhealthy lifestyles increase healthcare costs?’

In the afternoon independent economist Julian Jessop spoke on ‘Can we solve the UK’s productivity puzzle?’ and also ended the day with a valuable presentation on careers in Economics.

A thoroughly informative and enjoyable day for our budding economists.