Facts and figures about UK taxes, benefits and public spending.
Income distribution, poverty and inequality.
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Analysing government fiscal forecasts and tax and spending.
Analysis of the fiscal choices an independent Scotland would face.
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Reforming the tax system for the 21st century.
A peer-reviewed quarterly journal publishing articles by academics and practitioners.
In 1999 the UK government made major reforms to the system of child-contingent benefits, including the introduction of Working Families' Tax Credit and an increase in means-tested Income Support for families with children. Between 1999-2003 government spending per-child on these benefits rose by 50 per cent in real terms, a change that was unprecedented over a thirty year period. This paper examines whether there was a response in childbearing. To identify the effect of the reforms, we exploit the fact that the spending increases were targeted at low-income households and we use the (exogenously determined) education of the woman and her partner to define treatment and control groups. We argue that the reforms are most likely to have a positive fertility effect for women in couples and show that this is the case. We find that there was an increase in births (by around 15 per cent) among the group affected by the reforms.
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Recent IFS Working Papers
Estimating the effect of teacher pay on pupil attainment using boundary discontinuities
This paper provides causal estimates of the effect of teacher pay on pupil attainment using a sharp geographical discontinuity in teacher salaries.
Nutrition, information, and household behaviour: experimental evidence from Malawi
This paper studies the effects of a randomised intervention in rural Malawi which, over a six-month period, provided mothers of young infants with information on child nutrition without supplying any monetary or in-kind resources.
Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers and the family
What do labor income dynamics look like over the life-cycle? What is the relative importance of persistent shocks, transitory shocks and heterogeneous profiles? To what extent do taxes, transfers and the family attenuate these various factors in the evolution of life-cycle inequality? In this paper, we use rich Norwegian data to answer these important questions.