David Phillips

David Phillips

Associate Director

Education:

MSc Economics (Distinction), University College London, 2009
BA Economics (1st Class), University of Cambridge, 2006

ORCID: 0000-0002-1891-886X

David is an Associate Director working in the Pensions and Public Finances sector and the Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies (EDePo). Presently, David is helping lead two main areas of research at the Institute. First is work on devolved and local government finance, with a particular focus on the incentives and risks that different systems entail for sub-national government, and their responses to these. This includes work on implementing the Smith Commission proposals for Scotland and on the ongoing major changes to English local government finance. Second is work on tax and social protection policy in developing countries, including the IFS's DfID-funded Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV). This centre aims to generate new research, analysis and in-country analytical capacity in the area of tax and benefit policy and administration in (or of relevance to) DfID-priority countries, including Ghana and Ethiopia. Further work is being undertaken in countries such as Mexico and Jordan, and in cross-country studies.

David is also finalising work on the behavioural effects of National Insurance contributions and the UK's short-lived 50% income tax rate. He also has experience of working on a range of other issues including poverty and inequality; labour supply; consumer demand; human capital investment; and social capital. This experience helps inform his ongoing research, especially on tax policy design in developing countries. 

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Redistribution, efficiency and the design of VAT: a review of the theory and literature

| Briefing Note

The simplest form of value added tax (VAT) – and the form often advocated by international organisations – is one with a broad base and a single (‘uniform’) rate. In practise, most countries exempt and/or apply lower VAT rates on certain categories of goods and services. In this note authors summarise the pros and cons of such ‘VAT rate differentiation’ that are highlighted in the economics and taxation literatures, paying particular attention to the applicability and relevance of each factor for low- and middle-income countries.

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