Consumer behaviour

Research in this area aims to understand the behaviour of consumers – their choice of which goods and services to purchase, the sensitivity of their decisions to changes in prices, the interdependence of decisions made by firms and those made by consumers, and the implications of all these factors for government policy and for the wider economy.

Past research at IFS has made substantial contributions to the understanding of these topics. Ongoing areas of interest include: household consumption and how it changes over the life cycle; the modelling of demand; behavioural economics and rationality; the measurement of consumption and expenditure; consumer and firm behaviour in the food market; the construction of price indices; and the distributional impact of inflation.

Designing alcohol taxes: Evidence from the UK market

| External publications

Governments have long used taxation to correct for the socially costly overconsumption of alcohol, but as the external cost of overconsumption varies across drinkers, a single tax rate is not optimal. This column argues that variation in preferences for different products and in price responsiveness across heavy and light drinkers provides scope to improve welfare by varying tax rates across alcohol products. The proposed framework is well suited to addressing other sources of external costs, such as obesity.

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House price volatility and the housing ladder

| Book Chapters

House Price Volatility and the Housing Ladder

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Earnings and consumption dynamics: a nonlinear panel data framework

| Journal Articles

“Earnings and consumption dynamics: a nonlinear panel data framework”, forthcoming Econometrica.

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