About the IFS

The Institute for Fiscal Studies was founded in 1969. Established as an independent research institute, IFS was launched with the principal aim of better informing public debate on economics in order to promote the development of effective fiscal policy. Through the establishment of rigorous independent research, for example the IFS Green Budget and Post Budget analysis, IFS successfully opened up debate about public policy to a wider audience and influenced policy decision making.

Today, IFS is Britain’s leading independent microeconomic research institute. Its research remit is one of the broadest in public policy analysis, covering subjects from tax and benefits to education policy, from labour supply to corporate taxation. Our research not only has an impact on policy makers, think tanks and practitioners, it has also gained a worldwide reputation for academic rigour, and contributes to the development of academic scholarship. We communicate our research widely on a national and international scale, providing independent advice to policy makers in the UK, Europe and in developing countries; collaborating with world renowned academics on new economic theories and techniques; and disseminating our research globally through the press, media and the web.

IFS is host to the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy which analyses fiscal policy to determine its effects on households and companies. The Centre’s work covers the full extent of policy impact, investigating the ways in which policies influence human capital investments, work and occupational choice, firm behaviour, saving and retirement decisions, consumer choices and the public finances.


IFS at the Royal Economic Society conference

The Royal Economic Society conference 2015 is held in Manchester between 30 March and 1 April and co-organised by James Banks (IFS and Manchester). In addition to the usual programme of outstanding keynote lectures and special sessions, this year’s conference features a number of sessions celebrating the 125th Anniversary of The Economic Journal (EJ) and launching the anniversary edition of the journal. The journal is currently administered at IFS, as IFS’s Rachel Griffith is on the editorial board.

Presentations by and session involving IFS staff and associates include:

30 March

  • Rachel Griffith (IFS and Manchester) chairing ‘Behavioural economics and public policy’
  • Imran Rasul (IFS and UCL), ‘Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for tax compliance: evidence from a field experiment in Germany’
  • Claire Crawford (IFS and Warwick), chairing ‘UK early years policy’
  • Sarah Cattan (IFS), ‘The impact of Sure Start on cognitive achievement’
  • Bansi Malde (IFS) chairing ‘Development economics: credit markets and insurance’
  • Bansi Malde (IFS), ‘Network structure and risk sharing in extended family networks’
  • James Banks (IFS and Manchester), ‘Labour economics: retirement and pensions’
  • Claire Crawford (IFS and Warwick) chairing ‘Labour economics: returns to education I’
  • Jack Britton (IFS), ‘Conditional cash transfers: a dynamic structural model of post-compulsory education decisions’
  • Sarah Cattan (IFS) chairing ‘Public economics: health I’
  • Jonathan Shaw (IFS) chairing ‘Public economics: taxation I’
  • Jonathan Shaw (IFS), ‘How long-lasting are the effect of audits?’
  • Orazio Attanasio (IFS and UCL) chairing ‘Harrod and Ramsey on Growth’ (Economic Journal special session)
  • Orazio Attanasio (IFS and UCL), ‘Frank Ramsey's mathematical theory of saving’

31 March

  • James Banks (IFS and Manchester) chairing ‘Econometrics: panel data’
  • Richard Blundell (IFS and UCL), chairing ‘The taxation of savings(Economic Journal special session)

1 April

  • Jonathan Cribb (IFS), ‘Lone parents, time-limited in-work benefits and the dynamics of work and welfare’
  • James Banks (IFS and Manchester) chairing ‘Public economics; Health IV’
  • Barra Roantree (IFS), ‘What a difference a day makes: inequality and the tax and benefit system from a long-run perspective’
  • James Browne (IFS), ‘The impact of the UK’s 50p tax rate
  • James Banks (IFS and Manchester) chairing ‘RES Junior Fellows special session’

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Current job vacancies

Research Assistant (Ref:RA/2015)

Salary: £24,856-£28,817
Closing date:

The successful candidate will have a good relevant degree (preferably at least a Masters in Economics) with excellent knowledge of Stata, interest in development economics, excellent writing skills and very good knowledge of applied econometrics. Knowledge of programming languages such as R, Matlab or Julia is an added advantage.

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