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.

The gender wage gap

On average women in paid work receive about 18% less per hour than men. IFS research published today, funded by the JRF, shows that the wage gap is much smaller when comparing young women – before they become mothers – to their male counterparts. But the gap widens consistently for 12 years after the first child is born, by which point women receive 33% less pay per hour than men.

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Big historical increase in numbers did not reduce graduates’ relative wages

As A-level students find out their results and consider options for university study, IFS researchers have found that graduates still enjoy the same wage premium, despite substantial increases in the number of graduates. One in seven of those born in 1965–69 had obtained first degrees by their late 20s. That figure had more than doubled for those born ten years later. Despite this increase, the graduate wage premium over those with only GCSEs or A-levels has remained the same at all ages across birth cohorts.

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Brexit: the challenge ahead

On 25th November last year, George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his Autumn Statement and Spending Review. At the time it looked like it would be the defining budgetary event of this parliament. He planned four more years of cuts so that by 2019-20, the government’s revenues would exceed its spending—it would have balanced the budget.

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Who will ‘Help to Save’ help to save?

The 2016 Budget included a policy designed to help low-income working families, known as ‘Help to Save’. This observation examines whether the policy is likely to help those who are not currently saving enough and to encourage them to save more, or is instead an opportunity for those who already have savings (or would save anyway) to receive a government subsidy.

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Brexit options: budget contributions pale against wider trade and economic impacts

The UK public has voted to leave the European Union. But the economic choices that still face us are very big. Perhaps the most important is the choice over whether the UK retains membership of the single market. In a new report, IFS researchers look at what membership of the single market brings in terms of the potential benefits for trade, especially in services, and the likely obligations. It also considers the potential for new trade deals beyond the EU and the economic and public finance implications of potential options.

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Ultra-low interest rates come with a high price for future generations

Writing in the Times, Paul Johnson explains the impact that monetary policy can have on living standards. In the article, the IFS director highlights the effects of low interest rates on different groups in society, in particular pensioners and those of working age.

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If Hammond hits reset, it won’t mean Osborne got it wrong

If our new Chancellor changes tack it will not be because he thinks his predecessor got everything wrong; it will be because he is dealing with a new economic reality requiring a new response. The vote on June 23 pushed a big red economic reset button. The fiscal reset will be merely a response to that, IFS Director Paul Johnson writes in The Times.

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