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Panel Discussion: What should policy do about low earnings?

IFS hosted a conference on "Taxes, welfare and social insurance in the 21st century", jointly organised with the London School of Economics and the Paris School of Economics. The conference was preceded by a panel discussion on 'What should policy do about low earnings?' 

This event brought together an international field of experts and senior policy-makers to discuss the big challenges with respect to in-work poverty, and what we know – and need to know – about policy effectiveness. Major issues discussed included the design of tax and social security policy, including the major experiment taking place in the UK through universal credit; skills and education policy; the role of labour market regulation such as the minimum wage; and how these interact with changes in the world of work caused by factors like technology and trade.


  • Ben Chu, Economics Editor, The Independent (Chair)
  • Sir Richard Blundell, IFS/UCL (Download slides)
  • Tito Boeri, Bocconi and FRDB
  • Hilary Hoynes, UC Berkeley (Download slides)
  • Philippe Martin, Sciences Po, chair, Council of Economic Advisors to the French Prime Minister (Download slides)
  • Lindsey Whyte, Director, Personal Tax, Welfare and Pensions, HM Treasury

This event was jointly organised by the IFS, LSE and Paris School of Economics in conjunction with an academic conference (details here) held on 21st and 22nd September. The organisers were Richard Blundell, Antoine Bozio, Robert Joyce, Camille Landais and Johannes Spinnewijn.