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.
The aim of this paper is to understand what a recession means for individual consumers, and to model in a life-cycle framework how individuals respond to recessions. Our focus is on the sharp increase in savings rates that have been observed in the current and recent recessions. We show empirically that these saving spikes were short-lived and common to all working age groups. We then study life-cycle models in which recessions involve one or more of: (i) an aggregate permanent negative shock to individual income; (ii) an increase in the variance of idiosyncratic permanent shocks; (iii) a tightening of credit constraints; (iv) as set market crashes. In simulations and in the data we aggregate explicitly from individual behavior. We model credit tightening as a constraint on new borrowing and this generates an option value of borrowing in good times. We show that the rise in the aggregate savings ratio is driven by increases in uncertainty, rather than tightening of credit; temporary shocks to the supply of credit generate increases in saving only among younger agents.
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Recent IFS Working Papers
Female labour supply, human capital and welfare reform
We consider the impact of tax credits and income support programs on female education choice, employment, hours and human capital accumulation over the life-cycle.
The drivers of month of birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills: a regression discontinuity analysis
This paper uses data from a rich UK birth cohort to estimate the differences in cognitive and non-cognitive skills between children born at the start and end of the academic year.
The impact of age within academic year on adult outcomes
We provide the first evidence on whether differences in childhood outcomes translate into differences in the probability of employment, occupation and earnings for adults in the UK.