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.

Those born in early ‘80s have about half the wealth that those born in ‘70s

In their early 30s, people born in the early 1980s have average (median) net household wealth of £27,000 per adult – including housing, financial and private pension wealth. This is about half the median wealth that those born in the 1970s had at around the same age (£53,000). This is among the main findings of new IFS research, which for the first time looks at both the overall household wealth and total income of different generations.

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Business rates revaluation reveals growing gap between London and the North

The results of the latest business rates revaluation reveal a growing divergence in property prices between London and the rest of the country. Increases in the value of non-residential property in the capital are set to raise rates bills by 11%, on average, increasing the tax take by over £700 million. This will be offset by reductions in bills and revenues in most of the rest of England, and especially the North, as property values fall behind. Growing differences in property prices reflect broader evidence of a growing divergence in economic performance over the last few years.

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IFS and CIOT party conference fringe events

For the fourth year, the IFS and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) are organising fringe events at the main party conferences this autumn. This year's panel will be discussing the role the tax system can play in tackling inequality and will feature representatives from the IFS, CIOT, and a political panellist. The next event is taking place at the Conservative fringe on 3 October.

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Can grammar schools improve social mobility?

The Secretary of State for Education has outlined proposals that allow an expansion of grammar schools across England. This could represent a significant shift in the education system in England. As ever there would be costs and benefits to such a change. It does appear that those who attend grammar schools do, on average, somewhat better than similar children in the comprehensive system. On the other hand, those in selective areas who don’t get into grammar schools do worse than they would in a comprehensive system. The real question for education is whether we can have the benefits without the costs.

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Graduate wage premium high but too variable?

While the graduate premium over non-graduates has held up well over most of the period, the level of graduate wages has been falling; and the variation in wages, according to what you study and where, is huge. IFS Director Paul Johnson writes in The Times.

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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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