David Hume Institute   Watermark

The David Hume Institute is a research organisation specialising in legal and economic aspects of public policy. It holds seminars and public lectures and produces a series of Occasional Papers. The Institute is registered as a Scottish Charity (SCO 91239) and is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (Coy No 91239). Funding is by subscription, donation, sponsorship, sales of publications and membership fees.

The David Hume Institute was set up in Edinburgh in 1985, the first Executive Director being Professor Sir Alan Peacock, to consider legal and economic aspects of public policy questions and to promote the results widely. It aims to be a distinctive non-metropolitan voice, based in, but not confined to Scotland. The Institute has no political affiliations. Its research, publications, seminars and other activities have been primarily concerned with market approaches to public policy and it has attracted support from Nobel Laureates in economics such as Professors James Buchanan, James Meade and George Stigler.

We have two publications available which chart the history of the Institute from its inception:

  • The First Decade - the setting up and first ten years of the Institute
  • Argument Amongst Friends: twenty five years of sceptical enquiry – to mark the 25th anniversary of the DHI
Complimentary copies of these publications are available from the Institute. Click on this link for a PDF file of Argument Amongst Friends.

The aims and objectives of the Institute are to promote discourse and research on economic and legal aspects of public policy questions. The Institute fulfils these objectives in the following ways:

  • By organising seminars that address topics of current public policy concern by bringing together distinguished and expert speakers and an informed, interested and engaged audience.
  • Through the Occasional Paper series of lectures and articles which are intended to make its results available to a wider audience in a convenient format - many now available as PDF files on this website.
  • The Annual Lecture is delivered by a distiniguished speaker on a topic of current importance and once every three years there is a Presidential Address.
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(Registered No 91239 Scottish Charity Number SC009579)
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