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David Sturrock

David Sturrock

Research Economist


MPhil Economics, University of Oxford, 2016
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1st Class), University of Oxford, 2012

David joined the IFS in 2016, working in the Pensions and Public Finance sector. His current research examines the impact of longer working lives on health, and the indebtedness of UK households in relation to poverty. Previously, David was an economist at HM Treasury, working on fiscal policy, analysis of Scottish independence, and strategy for the 2015 Spending Review.

Academic outputs

IFS Working Paper W19/02
The "annuity puzzle" refers to the fact that annuities are rarely purchased despite the longevity insurance they provide. Most explanations for this puzzle assume that individuals have accurate expectations about their future survival. We provide evidence that individuals mis-perceive their ...
IFS Working Paper W18/14
This paper investigates individuals' expectations about their own survival to older ages and compares patterns in average responses about survival chances with actual and projected survival rates.

Reports and comment

Pension freedoms gave people much more flexibility over how to use their savings in retirement. But very few now purchase annuities in order to guarantee an income. We find that an important reason could be that people underestimate how long they will live.
A healthier population is likely to be more economically productive (and to need less spending on healthcare and health-related benefits). A more prosperous society is likely to be healthier.


When might debt cause immediate problems?
This presentation was given by David Sturrock at the Public Economics Lecture Day on 5 January 2018.