The introduction of Universal Credit (UC) is arguably the most radical restructuring of the benefits system since the 1940s. The aim is to simplify the system and to strengthen work incentives.
This report assesses what options are available for evaluating the labour market impacts of UC, and considers whether a credible quantitative evaluation is feasible and worthwhile based on a hypothetical roll-out scenario provided by DWP. The report identifies the main questions that would be interesting and potentially feasible to answer and considers alternative empirical approaches, methodological challenges and data availability.
The report was largely written during winter 2012-13 and reflects the best information available to us at that time.