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About the IFS

The Institute for Fiscal Studies was founded in 1969. Established as an independent research institute, IFS was launched with the principal aim of better informing public debate on economics in order to promote the development of effective fiscal policy. Through the establishment of rigorous independent research, for example the IFS Green Budget and Post Budget analysis, IFS successfully opened up debate about public policy to a wider audience and influenced policy decision making.

Today, IFS is Britain’s leading independent microeconomic research institute. Its research remit is one of the broadest in public policy analysis, covering subjects from tax and benefits to education policy, from labour supply to corporate taxation. Our research not only has an impact on policy makers, think tanks and practitioners, it has also gained a worldwide reputation for academic rigour, and contributes to the development of academic scholarship. We communicate our research widely on a national and international scale, providing independent advice to policy makers in the UK, Europe and in developing countries; collaborating with world renowned academics on new economic theories and techniques; and disseminating our research globally through the press, media and the web.

IFS is host to the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy which analyses fiscal policy to determine its effects on households and companies. The Centre’s work covers the full extent of policy impact, investigating the ways in which policies influence human capital investments, work and occupational choice, firm behaviour, saving and retirement decisions, consumer choices and the public finances.



IFS Research Economist, Laura ven der Erve, spoke at the fourth annual Women in Economics conference, held in Cambridge at Gonville and Caius College.

The speakers at the event were:


On 13 September, IFS Associate Director Robert Joyce gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee on social security and in-work poverty.

The Committee also took evidence from David Finch, Senior Research Fellow, Resolution Foundation; Russell Gunson, Director, Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland;Deborah Hay, Scotland Policy Officer, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Polly Jones, Project Manager, A Menu for Change Project, Oxfam Scotland.

The committee session is available to watch online here.


It is with great sadness that the Institute for Fiscal Studies notes the death of Sir James Mirrlees (1936-2018). He has been a figure of enormous importance both for the magnitude of his influence on the field of public policy analysis in general and more particularly for his role in the Institute’s recent activities.

His work on the optimum design of tax systems has had incalculable influence on economics.  The challenge of finding a balance between the objective of reducing inequality and the need to maintain work incentives is at the core of analysis of direct taxation.  He found a ...


Annual recruitment round
Salary From £32,779 in 2018
Apply from October 2018
Closing date November 2018
Each year we recruit a number of outstanding post-doctoral economists to join our research teams.
Annual recruitment round
Salary Fees etc in line with ESRC rates
Apply from October 2018
Closing date January 2019
The IFS runs an annual Graduate Scholarship Programme, whereby students studying for a PhD on an accredited pathway at an ESRC doctoral training centre are affiliated with the IFS.