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Xiaowei Xu

Xiaowei Xu

Senior Research Economist

MPhil Economics, University of Oxford, 2014
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (First class), University of Oxford, 2011

Xiaowei joined the IFS in 2018 and works in the Income, Work and Welfare sector. Her research focuses on inequalities in labour market outcomes and health. Before joining the IFS, she worked at McKinsey, the Gates Foundation and in economic consulting.

Academic outputs

Journal article | Fiscal Studies, Volume 41, Issue 3
In this paper, we estimate the effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic on mental health in the UK. We use longitudinal micro data for the UK over the period 2009–20 to control for pre‐existing trends in mental health and construct individual‐specific counterfactual predictions for April 2020, ...
IFS Working Paper W20/23
Using a large-scale panel data set, we trace the evolution of incomes and well-being around the entry into ‘solo self-employment’ – that is, running a business without employees.

Reports and comment

Briefing note
In recent years, some of the most talked-about trends in the UK labour market have concerned the growth of ‘non-standard’ or ‘alternative’ forms of work. These have been central to concerns over inequalities stemming from the world of work – either because they are seen as symptoms of ...
Briefing note
Much of the debate about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, our responses to it, and the longer-term legacy that it will leave has quickly become a discussion about various forms of inequality.


Self-employment in the UK has risen dramatically. At this event, we discussed findings from a new report that explores the nature of the rise of self-employment, what it tells us about the state of our labour market, and how the Covid-19 crisis has affected the self-employed.
IFS, Discover Economics, and the Economics Observatory present Generation-COVID: a webinar for 15-17 year olds exploring what Covid-19 means for the future of the economy. What will be the impact of disruption to schools? Will the way we work change forever? Our panel of economists will answer your ...