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Commentary

The Institute publishes a series of 'Observations', which use our research to explain the facts behind topical policy debates. IFS staff also publish articles in a variety of national newspapers, blogs and specialist magazines to help inform the public debate.

For reports and academic publications, see our publications page.

Our press releases and public finance bulletins can be found on our News page.

Latest Observations

Observation
Women work for less productive, lower-paying firms than men, our new analysis suggests - which may contribute to the gender pay gap. This difference between the kinds of firms that men and women work for opens up around the time women have children, when many switch to part-time work or start ...
Observation
Automatic enrolment is a key government policy to help employees save privately for their retirement. We find that it substantially increased workplace pension participation among those working for small employers by around 45 percentage points to reach 70% of targeted employees – with most, but ...
Observation
The government has launched a consultation on whether to ban the advertising of food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar on television before the 9pm watershed. But the impact of such restrictions would depend on how firms change their advertising strategies following the ban.

Recent newspaper articles

Newspaper article
Almost six years since council tax support was localised, research into the design and effects of local schemes reveals three key insights. This article first appeared in Benefit magazine and is reproduced here with full permission.
Newspaper article
While the UK’s exit from the European Union continues to dominate the political and economic landscape, another important process looms: the 2019 Spending Review. This will determine how government spending is to be distributed across departments beyond 2019–20, including spending on overseas ...
Newspaper article
We cannot have our cake and eat it. Decisions have consequences, and so does failure to decide. Pretending that there are no consequences won’t make them go away.