Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances.

Education needs a revolution, not just more cash

In an article in today's Times, Paul Johnson writes about the debate on education funding. He asks whether, if we continue to focus on funding alone, while ignoring longstanding structural problems, will we continue to fail too many of our young people?

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Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK

New IFS research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, uses data on household incomes to give our latest assessment of trends in living standards, poverty and inequality in the U.K.

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Where next for tax & spend?

Terrible economic growth since the start of 2008 has created big problems for the finances of both households and government. The government’s deficit increased from 2.6% of national income to a post Second World War high of 9.9% of national income in 2009–10. The period of “austerity” since then has been focussed on getting that deficit down through a combination of some net tax rises and some big cuts to benefits and spending on public services.

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Families dependent on fathers' earnings alone have average incomes no higher than 15 years ago

Over the last 20 years, growth in the earnings of working fathers has been extremely slow, at 0.3% a year on average, while mothers' earnings have grown by more than 2% a year. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for families where only the father is working to keep up with other families. Around a quarter of children live in a one-earner couple family – around the same proportion as 20 years ago. These are some of the findings from new IFS analysis released today, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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Higher Education funding

New IFS research looks at changes to the way that higher education has been funded in England since 2012 and how these have impacted on graduates, universities and the public finances. We also consider policy options.

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cemmap awarded ESRC Large Research Grant

The Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice (cemmap), a joint venture between IFS and UCL, has won a £1.9m four year grant in the ESRC 2017 Large Grants Competition. The new grant funds research to advance our ability to address questions about the structure of complex economic and social processes using big data and new tools of econometrics and statistics. The research programme is built around five interlocking themes: big data and machine learning, dynamics and complexity, robust models, networks and interactions, and survey design and measurement.

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IFS annual lecture with Professor David Autor

Professor David Autor, a world expert on the effect of trade on the labour market and wages, delivered the 2017 IFS Annual Lecture on 22 June on the topic of "Economic and Political Consequences of China’s Rise for the United States: Lessons from the China Shock". Watch a video of the lecture, which was chaired by IFS President Lord O'Donnell, here.

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