IFS announcements

Announcements about IFS research and researchers.

Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) afforded official ESRC "Research Institute" status

Today for the first time, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised two global centres of excellence with official ESRC Research Institute status. One of these is the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP), which is based at IFS. The other is the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), at LSE. 

The move acknowledges those centres which have demonstrated sustained strategic value to the Council, as well as to the broader social science research landscape, with long-term, five-year funding. Both CEP and CPP have demonstrated significant impact over the long term on public debates around policy in their areas, particularly in economic and fiscal policy. They are also key centres of excellence for training researchers, building expertise and skills within the UK research community in these areas, to compete at an international level. 

Successful application for Institute status will provide long-term funding (with review every five years) for the new Institute to pursue independent research into ongoing, complex research and societal challenges, as well as to respond promptly in cases of national need. 

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, said: “These two ESRC Institutes represent landmark investments in the national research landscape.  They will continue to play a vital influence in maintaining the UK’s international standing at the cutting edge of economic research, and in influencing thinking on economic and fiscal policy nationally, and globally.  We are delighted that they have been recognised for their achievements to-date and look forward to their future relationship with UK Research and Innovation in helping shape the future of economic research and policy.”

Professor Sir Richard Blundell, Director ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at IFS, said: "We are delighted with the recognition the ESRC has given to us with the award of Research Institute status. Over the last 25 years and more the ESRC has been key to the success of IFS. Centre funding has allowed us to bring rigorous evidence-based research to the analysis of public policy. It has provided a unique environment for building new generations of economists who have gone on to take leading roles both in public policy, the media and academia. It has allowed IFS to respond swiftly, authoritatively and independently to the changing public policy debate.  In recognising the international excellence of our work, Institute status also provides us with stability for the future development of our ambitious research programme. We intend to ensure that we maintain our global leadership and enhance our public policy influence."

Rachel Griffith to be the new President-elect of the Royal Economic Society

The Royal Economic Society (RES) has appointed Professor Rachel Griffith as its President-elect from 2019/2020. They also announced that the former Chief Economist of the World Bank and former President of the British Academy, Lord Nicholas Stern will be President of the Royal Economic Society for 2018/19.

She will join the ranks of other prestigious economists who have led the Society in its 128-year history. Past Presidents have included John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge.

President-elect Rachel Griffith is Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester, Research Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Co-Director of the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) at IFS.

Professor Rachel Griffith said:

“I am excited about taking on this historic role and becoming President of the Royal Economic Society next year.

“I look forward to working towards achieving greater diversity in the economics profession and to promoting more meaningful engagement with the public to create a better understanding of the economics of the world we live in.”

It was also announced that the former Chief Economist of the World Bank and former President of the British Academy, Lord Nicholas Stern will be President of the Royal Economic Society for 2018/19.

The Royal Economic Society elects their Presidents at its Annual General Meeting held during its Annual Conference. This year the Conference was held at the University of Sussex in Brighton (26-28 April 2018) bringing together more than 700 economists to discuss and present around 500 academic papers. Keynote speakers included Dave Donaldson (MIT), Botond Koszegi (Central European University) and Maristella Botticini (Bocconi).

The Royal Economic Society was founded in 1890 and received its Royal Charter in 1902. It is a learned society formed to promote the study of economic science. It has around 3500 members and publishes The Economic Journal and the Econometrics Journal.

IFS Director Paul Johnson to give 2018 Joseph Fisher Lecture

IFS Director Paul Johnson will give the 2018 Joseph Fisher Lecture at the University of Adelaide, Australia.  The Joseph Fisher lecture is one of the longest running lecture series held by the University of Adelaide, having been started in 1903. 

Paul's presentation, entitled 'Choices in Public Policy' will explore why:

  • Making policy is much harder than politicians or commentators allow;

  • There is huge uncertainty over facts and forecasts, as well as over policy impacts;

  • There are also almost always big trade offs and ethical judgments;

The talk will be illustrated by examples concerning choices over the size of the state, tax rates, HE finance and redistribution.

You can find out more and book your place here.

Masterclass by Dave Donaldson, Empirical Models of Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade

We will begin with a presentation of standard models of comparative advantage that have been used to explain the pattern of trade (who trades what with whom) and the normative effects of trade (who gains and who loses when trade becomes easier to do) both between and within nations.  This will span the perfectly competitive models of Ricardo and Heckscher-Ohlin (including their modern versions such as that due to Eaton and Kortum), as well as the monopolistically competitive models of Krugman and Melitz.

We will then turn to the recent empirical literature that aims to connect these models to the data in order to understand the consequences of various trade policies, both realized (e.g. China’s entry into the WTO, or the construction of a vast railroad network) and counterfactual (e.g. the future consequences of post-Brexit UK trade policy).
Because of the complexities of the many cross-market interactions that occur in multi-market spatial settings, we will emphasize some of the recently developed methods (“sufficient statistic”-like strategies, but ones that are applicable to general equilibrium problems) that researchers use to enhance credibility by reducing empirical dimensionality.
These tools have been applied to problems in the fields of International Trade, Urban Economics, Labor Economics, Development Economics, and Economic History.