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IFS makes derived datasets available for download

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We have recently made our ‘derived datasets’ from these surveys, along with accompanying documentation, available for download (subject to safeguarding) via the UK Data Service.


The Living Costs and Food Survey (LCFS), and its predecessors the Expenditure and Food Survey (EFS) and the Family Expenditure Survey (FES) provide potentially the longest time series of data on spending, demographics and labour supply in the UK. The FES began in 1961, but since then the surveys have undergone many changes, which makes creating long time series of consistent variables difficult and time consuming.

Since analysis of these data is key to much IFS analysis, we have always created and maintained a consistent time series of data from these surveys for use for in-house research purposes. 

These files provide rich data, all derived from the original surveys but in a more readily usable and user-friendly form, which can be used in a wide range of research on topics such as consumer behaviour and indirect taxation, labour supply, employment and pay, inequality and living standards.

Some examples of the work that has been published using these data can be found here:

Banks, J., Blundell, R., Levell, P., Smith, J., (2019) “Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the United Kingdom: can medical expenditures explain the difference? American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol 11, 3, August 201

Etheridge, Ben (2019) “Housing prices and consumption inequality”, IFS Working Paper W19/24 

Blundell, R., Joyce, R., Norris Keiller, A., Ziliak, J., (2018) “Income inquality and the labour market in Britain and the US”, Journal of Public Economics, Vol 162, June 2018 

Banks J., Blundell R., Brugiavini, A., (2001) “Risk Pooling, precautionary saving and consumption volatility”, Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 86, No. 4, October 2001

Banks, J., Blundell, R., Tanner, S., (1998) “Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?” , American Economic Review, Vol 88, No. 4, September 1998 

Banks J., , Blundell R., Lewbel, A., (1997) “Quadratic Engel curves, welfare measurement and consumer demand”, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol 79, No. 4, Nov 1997 

Goodman, A., Webb, S., “For richer, for poorer: the changing distribution of income in the United Kingdom, 1961-91 (1994) IFS Report June 1994 

Banks, J., Blundell, R., Preston, I., (1991) “Adult equivalence scales: a life-cycle perspective”, Fiscal Studies, Vol 12, No. 3, August 1991 

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