Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances.

Comparing spending per pupil across different stages of education

How is spending spread across different stages of education and how has this shifted over time? New IFS research provides, for the first time, consistent data on day-to-day or current spending per pupil on different stages of education in England over a long time period. Although cuts of 6.5% are expected for schools, the bigger story over the longer term is that they have done rather well in terms of funding per pupil. Spending on sixth forms and further education, by contrast, has been continually squeezed.

Find out more
Alt Image

A taxing challenge? Analysing and supporting tax policy design in low and middle income countries

The Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV), a new IFS research centre funded by the Department for International Development (DfID), draws on over 40 years of IFS experience of analysing and influencing tax policy in the UK to support policymakers in low and middle income countries to conduct rigorous analysis of their tax and benefit systems. IFS researchers will introduce TAXDEV’s programme of research and analysis at at event on 15 March.

Find out more

IFS Green Budget 2017

The IFS Green Budget 2017, in association with ICAEW and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, analyses the issues and challenges facing Chancellor Philip Hammond as he prepares for his first Budget. The findings from a selection of chapters were presented at Guildhall in London, where the report was launched. The report and presentation slides are online now.

Find out more

Apprenticeships policy risks poor value for money

A desire to expand the system of apprenticeships has been expressed by all major UK political parties and the current government’s focus on apprenticeships builds on commitments under the previous coalition and Labour governments. However, new IFS research shows that the significant expansion and design of the new system risks it being poor value for money and could end up being particularly damaging to the public sector.

Find out more

Big rise in low paid men working part-time

Twenty years ago only 1 in 20 men aged 25 to 55 with low hourly wages worked part-time. Today 1 in 5 of this group work part-time: a four-fold increase. This is the result of a steady trend – not just the recent recession. Meanwhile the proportion of middle- and high- wage men working part-time remains extremely low, at less than 1 in 20. Hence, for men low hourly wages and low hours of work increasingly go together and this has become an important driver of inequality in their pay.

Find out more

Inheritance and inequality

Younger generations are likely to inherit much more wealth than their predecessors did, both in absolute terms and relative to their other sources of wealth. But within each generation, those who are already well off tend to inherit the most - with important implications for inequality and social mobility. These are the main findings of new IFS research.

Find out more

Sweetening the sugar tax?

In Budget 2016 the Chancellor announced a ‘soft drinks industry levy’ that aims to reduce consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks. The levy is due to take effect from April 2018 with two rates, one applying to mid-sugar drinks and a higher rate applying to high-sugar drinks. A recent article in The Lancet: Public Health considers the possible consequences of the levy for a series of health outcomes, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental care. In this Observation we propose a simple change to the soft drinks levy which would increase the likelihood of it having a beneficial effect on these outcomes.

Find out more