Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home People Mike Brewer
Mike Brewer

Mike Brewer

Research Fellow


MSc Economics and Econometrics (Distinction), University of Bristol, 1997
BA Economics and Mathematics (1st class), University of Cambridge, 1996

Mike is a Professor of Economics at the University of Essex. His main research interests are in how welfare benefits, labour market programmes and the tax system affects decisions made by households. He has written widely about welfare reform, and especially the changes to social security benefits and tax credits proposed by the current UK Government. He has been a long-time proponent of a simpler and more integrated welfare system, and his work on an integrated benefit system has been acknowledged as having informed current government policy.

Academic outputs

IFS Working Paper W18/27
This paper provides an empirical account of the dynamic return to work, and how this is affected by taxes and benefits.
Journal article | The Economic Journal
We document that households in the UK with extremely low measured income tend to spend much more than those with merely moderately low income. This phenomenon is evident throughout three decades worth of microdata and across different employment states, levels of education and marital statuses.

Reports and comment

Briefing note
In this research we investigate who wins and loses from universal credit, and by how much. For the first time, we also look at the effects of universal credit on people’s incomes over eight years of their lives, rather than just at a point in time. This lets us look at the impact on those that ...
Briefing note
We examine the effectiveness of two time-limited in-work benefits. These were introduced in Great Britain in the early to mid 2000s and were known as ‘in work credit’ (IWC) and the ‘Employment Retention and Advancement demonstration’ (ERA).


This presentation was given by Mike Brewer at "Retention and progression in work: What do we still need to know?" on 24 May 2017.
This paper was presented at the EEA-ESEM conference in Toulouse (25th August 2014).