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.

Earnings gap between men with richer parents and their poorer counterparts is widening

It is well known that the sons of richer parents tend to go on to have higher earnings. However, new research shows that they also benefit from being more likely to have a partner, and from that partner being more likely to have higher earnings. As female earnings are an increasingly important component of household income these trends significantly reduce the household incomes of men who grew up in poor families and have important implications for social mobility.

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Effect of raising the female state pension age on income, poverty and deprivation

Between 2010 and 2016, the state pension age for women rose from age 60 to 63. The result is that 1.1 million fewer women are receiving a state pension and the government's finances are boosted by £5.1 billion a year. In new research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the ESRC, we assess the impact on household incomes and the government’s finances from the increases in the female state pension age seen so far.

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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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