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.

Average incomes in 2014-15 above previous peak

Median household income in the UK rose by 3% in 2014–15 after adjusting for inflation. This was the fastest rise in average incomes since the early 2000s, finally taking median income 1% above its previous peak, and was accompanied by income growth right across the distribution. These are the most striking findings from the latest official statistics on the distribution of household income by the DWP. We set out some of the reasons for the strong income growth, and highlight some of the other things we learn from the new statistics. On 19th July, we will launch a detailed report, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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We are in uncharted waters

As we set sail into uncharted economic waters, it is worth asking not just where we are going but where we start from. For while we start from a better place than we were at in 2010, the truth is we don’t even really understand what that place is, let alone where we are headed. New article by IFS Director Paul Johnson.

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Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2016

On 19 July IFS researchers will present the key findings from the latest in the series of flagship IFS annual reports on living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK. Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the report will analyse the official data on the distribution of household income in the UK, up to and including the latest year of data for 2014-15.

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Determining “what works” in local councils

Local government in the UK is responsible for a number of key public services and has the potential to be an ideal testing ground to trial new ways of delivering such services. Historically, however, there has been relatively limited use of rigorous evaluation methods to determine “what works”. IFS researchers have been collaborating with Lambeth Council to design and run a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) that seeks to evaluate different ways to get citizens more involved in the delivery of public services. Initial findings will be launched at an event on 11 July.

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Leaving the EU would almost certainly damage our economic prospects

In an Observation published today, Jagjit Chadha of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and John van Reenen of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics bring together the conclusions from research on the likely consequences, and reflect on some of the claims made.

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The early years: child well-being and the role of public policy conference

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) hosted an academic conference at the British Academy on the 9-10 June. 'The early years: child well-being and the role of public policy' conference looked at experiences in developing, middle income and developed countries. It focused on lessons that can be learned from the literature on the early years, their long term consequences, and the potential role for policy. The conference attracted experts working on different contexts and across different disciplines.

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Corporate tax avoidance: where next for policy and practice?

Every two years, IFS holds a residential conference, aiming to facilitate high-level knowledge exchange between practitioners, policymakers and academics on key areas of policy and practice. This year, 9-10 September in Oxford, we will consider how anti-avoidance measures are designed, how governments’ and businesses’ perspectives on tax avoidance are changing, and what we can expect from international efforts going forward.

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