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Home Research areas Inequality, poverty and living standards Measuring inequality, poverty and living standards

Measuring inequality, poverty and living standards

IFS Researchers have been at the forefront of measuring changes in inequality, poverty and living standards for over 25 years. We undertake analysis to understand different measures of living standards, which can lead us to important insights into how the distribution of living standards is changing. In addition, we work with the Department for Work and Pensions to produce consistent measures of the distribution of household income using UK survey data. These data form a consistent series back to 1981 and are available as microdata or summary statistics. Our expertise in data on income and consumption facilitate international collaborations to understand changes in inequality and living standards across different developed countries.

Measuring inequality, poverty and living standards

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.


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Robert Joyce
Associate Director
Jonathan Cribb
Senior Research Economist
Andrew Hood
Senior Research Economist
Tom Waters
Research Economist