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Our Activities: Research

The Henry George Foundation runs a programme of research which is exploring key social and economic issues. Currently we are pursuing a number of specific research projects.

Land Value Monitor

The Land Value Monitor is a rolling research project which keeps track of developments in differential land values across the UK. The figures are expressed and analysed nationally and regionally, and developments are tracked over time. The commercial applicaton of the project is in the initial stages of development. Contact: Duncan Elliott

Housing affordability

Instability in housing markets is socially problematic. Impending upheavels in the UK market are being widely forecast. Economic analyst Fred Harrison, in his new book Boom Bust, anticipates global economic calamity by 2010. This research project’s terms of reference are to identify possible systemic failure of the Scottish housing market, its relationship to the economic benefits of ‘place’, and consider any connections to the problem of affordabilty. It will propose solutions to the problems it finds, formulate recommendations for further work and consider the application of its findings to the rest of the UK.

Community land tenure

There is a growing community land tenure movement in the UK and particularly in Scotland. Reformer Alastair McIntosh has led the way in identifying the social benefits of the programme. But what are the hard economic consequences of reform? This project is investigating the recent growth of community land tenure in Scotland and the broader land reform agenda. In particular it will analyse the economic connections between community land tenure and the concept of rental income for community benefit, and set out the implications for both local- and macro-level policy. Contact: Peter Gibb

Trade justice

The rules by which countries and commercial agents exchange goods internationally are under close scrutiny as never before. The present international trade arrangements are seen as being unfair to developing economies. However, opinion is sharply divided on what to do about this – with the Bretton Woods international institutions on one side and the ‘anti-globalisation/anti-capitalist’ movement on the other. This project seeks to explore the reconciliation of these divisions: it considers the necessary principles for trade justice, asking whether it is achievable by ‘freedom’ or by ‘fairness’. Contact: Thomas Wheeler

Local taxation reform

How can we enable local communities to be self-funding and sustainable in order that good public services and infrastructure can be provided and the need for grants from central government minimised? Contact: Peter Gibb

A new Middle East settlement

According to the American academic Fred Foldvary, when two nations claim the same territory, and both claims have merit, partition may not sufficiently resolve the conflict. There can be sites in the territory that are highly valued by both. There can be members scattered in both territories, so they would either have to move or be under the authority of the other nation. A better alternative may be to make the land common property. This research project investigates the practical benefits of implementing disparate arrangements to deal with sovereignity, the sharing of common resources, and secular authority, over the territory of Israel/Palestine. Contact: Peter Gibb

Future research

The Foundation is also interested in commissioning new research within its fields of interest. For further information please contact chief executive Peter Gibb.

Possible future areas of work include:

  • Sustainable funding of public transport
  • Community benefit from the development of renewables
  • The uses and limitations of property rights
  • Fishing rights
  • Urban regeneration
  • Access to water and other basic natural resources
  • Managing pollution rights
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Land & Liberty magazine is a publication of The Henry George Foundation.