Facts and figures about UK taxes, benefits and public spending.
Income distribution, poverty and inequality.
Analysing government fiscal forecasts and tax and spending.
Analysis of the fiscal choices an independent Scotland would face.
Case studies that give a flavour of the areas where IFS research has an impact on society.
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 UK's public finances in the long run: the IFS model
This working paper describes how the IFS’s model of the UK’s long-run public finances (and those of its constituent nations) is constructed.
Efficient responses to targeted cash transfers
In this paper, we estimate a collective model of household consumption and test the restrictions of collective rationality using z-conditional demands in the context of a large Conditional Cash Transfer programme in rural Mexico.
Policy discontinuity and duration outcomes
A comparison of hazard rates of duration outcomes before and after policy changes is hampered by non-identification if there is unobserved heteogeneity in the effects and no model structure is imposed. We develop a discontinuity approach that overcomes this by exploiting variation in the moment at which different cohorts are exposed to the policy change, i.e. by considering spells crossing the policy change.
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.