Laura Abramovsky

Dr Laura Abramovsky

Senior Research Economist


PhD Economics, University College London, 2015
MSc Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2003
BA Economics (magna cum laude), Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2000

ORCID: 0000-0002-0698-9564

Laura joined the IFS in 2003. Her current work focuses on tax and social protection policy and programme evaluation in developing countries.

She is one of the founders of the IFS's DfID-funded Centre for Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TAXDEV). This programme aims at generating 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. She is also working on tax policy analysis in other developing countries. 

She has also been involved in a range of programme evaluations, and is now co-leading two projects on sanitation. One is an evaluation of a sanitation intervention in Nigeria that aims to stimulate households' demand for sanitation and improve the supply of sanitation solutions. The other is a research project focused on the interaction between sanitation and nutrition in determining child height, and other child outcomes more generally.

Laura has also worked on firms' behaviour in the past, with specific focus on productivity and innovation issues in the UK and Europe.


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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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