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IFS 50th Anniversary

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) was founded in 1969. For the last 50 years, we have been fortunate to employ some of the brightest and best researchers and have collaborated with renowned academics on new economic theories and techniques as well as providing high quality, politically independent commentary and analysis to policy-makers and the media. Initially established to inform and improve UK tax policy-making through evidence and research, our remit and expertise has significantly widened over time. We now cover important topics such as education, health, public finances, retirement, consumer behaviour, overseas development, tax, inequality and poverty and we aim to freely publish all of our research and much of our data so that other researchers and those working in relevant fields can fully scrutinise and benefit from our work.   

"I remain as convinced today of the need for, and value of, organisations like the Institute for Fiscal Studies, as did its founders just over half a century ago." 

Paul Johnson, IFS Director

The UK’s leading independent microeconomic research institute

Moving forwards, we are now established as the UK’s leading independent microeconomic research institute and we are also an award-winning 'think-tank'. In 2018, we were awarded prestigious 'Institute' status from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), recognising us as a "global centre of excellence" that has made a significant contribution to the social science landscape. That same year, we were cited in excess of 30,000 times by the UK media and we helped to inform policy debate through hundreds of broadcast interviews and a large series of public events, workshops and conferences. We gave policy evidence in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and researchers played key roles in the Social Security Advisory Committee, Intergenerational Commission and Social Metrics Commission amongst others.            

It is this reputation for academic rigour, policy impact, high quality communications and absolute independence that we are exceptionally proud of and we look forward to another 50 years of working closely with stakeholders from academia, third sector, business, the media and government with the ultimate aim of championing good evidence and improving the way that policies are designed and evaluated.      

Please see below some information about planned activities to mark our 50th anniversary and do keep in touch with us on Twitter and elsewhere using #IFSat50.

50th anniversary events

Past event
Little is more important to our society and economy than the effectiveness of our education system. This IFS at 50 event will look at how spending on and effectiveness of the different stages of education have changed over time, how well children from different social backgrounds do, and what the big challenges are for the future.
Past event
In the context of demographic change, among other trends, how will the incomes of pensioners in the future be supported? This IFS at 50 event will look at how our pensions and savings system has worked to support retirement incomes and how we should think about supporting future generations of pensioners in the decades to come.
Past event
Tax underpins everything the government does and is often used by policy makers to try to shape the economy. Tax is also central to citizens’ views on whether our society is fair. This IFS at 50 event will look at how tax has changed in recent decades, what it means to aspire to a well-designed tax system, and how taxation will have to change to address the challenges of the future.
Past event
Debates about welfare policy are invariably controversial, going right to the heart of what kind of society we want to be. This IFS at 50 event will set out the trade-offs that make this such an important and difficult area, how and why our approach has changed so radically over time, and how evidence can help us design policy better.
Past event
The Institute for Fiscal Studies will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2019, and we'll be marking the occasion with an event and drinks reception held on the evening of 9 May 2019 in Westminster.