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 distribution of income, consumption and wealth continues to be a central area of IFS research. Amongst the many aspects of our work in this area, we seek to chart, explain, and understand changes in inequality in wages, earnings, incomes and consumption, in the UK and other countries; we also seek to examine the effectiveness of a wide range of policies aimed at reducing poverty - including taxes and benefits, and other types of policy interventions - both at home and abroad.
Our research is also concerned with the welfare implications of changes both to inequality and poverty. These depend on how far they are caused by permanent changes in the relative standings of individuals in the income distribution (e.g. a change in the return to certain skills caused by technical progress) or by changes in the frequency of short-lived events (e.g. temporary layoffs), as well as the availability to individuals of specific insurance and other mechanisms to mitigate unexpected events.
For useful facts and figures, visit our Incomes in the UK section, where you will also find out interactive model, Where do you fit in?, which uses the latest data to plot your position in the income distribution.
Paul Johnson and Gary Stears
We show that older male pensioners have substantially lower incomes than younger pensioners.
Chris Giles, Paul Johnson, Julian McCrae and Jayne Taylor
This report analyses the changing economic positions of tenants in subsidised public housing. It shows how low their incomes are today, how these low incomes interact with higher rents and the housing benefit system to reduce their returns to work and looks at a number of reforms to the benefit system.
Paul Johnson and Howard Reed
Is Britain a highly mobile society, or are affluence and poverty largely transmitted from one generation to the next? This report suggests that the economic standing of parents is an extremely important determinant of where their children end up in the income distribution.
Despite the widespread use of income as a measure of household welfare, there is much to recommend the use of consumption.
Alissa Goodman and Steven Webb
The rapid growth in income inequality in the UK over the 1980s has excited a good deal of interest and concern.
This study is based on a new data source, the BHPS, which allows researchers to follow the fortunes of the same households from one year to the next. It finds that the poorest tenth of households in 1992 were on average around 3% worse off in real terms than the poorest tenth in 1991, but that this result was mainly attributable to previously non-poor households becoming worse off.
Alissa Goodman and Steven Webb
Much of the debate over inequality in the UK has focused on household incomes. This study provides details of trends in household spending levels. It finds that the inequality of household expenditures has risen much more slowly over the 1980s than the inequality of household incomes.
Browse publications & research
Started: 01 January 2013
Started: 01 February 2012
Started: 01 January 2011
Started: 28 September 2010
Started: 01 April 2010
Extensive research on inequality allowed us to develop an online model where users can plot their position in the income distribution.
An IFS economist advised a “Citizens Jury” on the welfare system, including basic facts and important issues about its purpose and structure.
IFS researchers played an important role in the analysis underlying the findings of the National Equality Panel set up by the Labour Government.
IFS analysis forms an important input into the public debate about child and pensioner poverty and what policies are best suited to tackle these.
IFS evaluated the Pathways to Work programme. This work proved key to the policy debate about how to get disability benefit claimants in work.
IFS researchers develop a model of the Mexican tax system that will be used by the Mexican Government analysts.
The IFS has made valuable contributions to the debate on VAT and its impact on the poor.
IFS develops data on food prices and nutrition to build capacity for policy-relevant social science research.
Research told policymakers that, despite greater expenditure on health care, Americans are less healthy than their English counterparts.
IFS researchers have monitored the extent to which some households experience higher rates of inflation than others.
IFS researchers and the World Bank plan to develop capacity and tools in developing countries for the comprehensive analysis of tax reforms
In a tough economic climate IFS looks at how households are able to cope.
IFS researchers have investigated whether it is possible to measure the distributional impact of changes to spending on public services.
The IFS played a key role in the debate about who the tax and benefit changes in recent ‘Emergency Budget’ hit hardest.
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.