ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) at IFS

The ESRC Centre for Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy is central to the research carried out and disseminated by IFS. The IFS as a whole seeks to carry out empirical microeconomic work of the highest quality and relevance, and to impact on policy and the public debate.   CPP logo

The ESRC Centre is fundamental to the Institute’s success. It provides the long-term funding that allows IFS to carry out groundbreaking independent research in economics and microeconometrics, and to invest in developing a unique range of models and datasets. It is only through ESRC Centre funding that the IFS is able to maintain the combination of impartiality, rigour and authority which are essential if we are to continue to achieve wide-ranging impact on policy and to inform the public debate. It ensures that any evidence given at a select committee, appearance on broadcast media or briefing to ministers or industry leaders is underpinned by deep, unbiased intellectual foundations.


The Centre has received funding from the ESRC for five years from autumn 2015. A launch event was held on Friday 15 October.


Centre funding contributes to the website, Microeconomic Insights, which is a home for accessible summaries of high quality microeconomic research which informs the public about microeconomic issues that are, or should be, in the public’s eye.

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The Right to Buy public housing in Britain: a welfare analysis

| Journal Articles

We investigate the impact on social welfare of the United Kingdom (UK) policy introduced in 1980 by which public housing tenants (council housing in UK parlance) had the right to purchase their houses at heavily discounted prices. This was known as the Right to Buy (RTB) policy. Although this internationally-unique policy was the largest source of public privatization revenue in the UK and raised home ownership as a share of housing tenure by around 15%, the policy has been little analyzed by economists. We investigate the equilibrium housing policy of the public authority in terms of quality and quantity of publicly-provided housing both in the absence and presence of a RTB policy. We find that RTB can improve the aggregate welfare of low-income households only if the council housing quality is sufficiently low such that middle-wealth households have no incentive to exercise RTB. We also explore the welfare effects of various adjustments to the policy, in particular (i) to reduce discounts on RTB sales; (ii) to loosen restrictions on resale; (iii) to return the proceeds from RTB sales to local authorities to construct new public properties; and (iv) to replace RTB with rent subsidies in cash.

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IFS Associate Director, Cormac O'Dea, awarded Netspar PhD thesis award

We are delighted to announce that IFS Associate Director, Cormac O'Dea, has been awarded the prize for the best PhD thesis (Essays in the economics of consumption and saving) by Netspar.

Netspar is Dutch organiation that works to continually enhance the environment in the Netherlands for financing retirement.

Find more information about Netspar and the award here.


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Spring Budget 2017: IFS analysis

| 13:00 - 14:45
Location: The Building Centre

On Thursday 9 March IFS researchers will present their analysis of Chancellor Philip Hammond's first full Budget.

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