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.
Type: IFS Working Papers
Standard economic theory implies that the labelling of cash transfers or cash-equivalents (e.g. child benefits, food stamps) should have no effect on spending patterns. The empirical literature to date does not contradict this proposition. We study the UK Winter Fuel Payment (WFP), a cash transfer to older households. Exploiting sharp eligibility criteria in a regression discontinuity design, we find robust evidence of a behavioural effect of the labelling. On average households spend 41% of the WFP on fuel. If the payment was treated as cash, we would expect households to spend approximately 3% of the payment on fuel.
View all IFS Working Papers in the series
Recent IFS Working Papers
The measurement of household consumption expenditures
We review different ways in which data on consumer expenditures can be collected or captured
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We provide novel evidence of survey effects on a central life-cycle choice: household saving.
How to keep warm in winter: what are the effects of benefits designed to protect elderly households from the coldest winters?
IFS researchers have investigated the relative merits of government policies designed to protect elderly households from the coldest winters.