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Methods

The research carried out at the IFS aims to better understand the economic behaviour of individuals, families and firms, the functioning of markets, how economic and social policies affect all these and how such policies can be designed in the most effective way. To make major scientific progress in these areas, our research is supported by rigorous use of economic modelling, cutting edge empirical methods and rich data. It often leads to the development of innovative models, methods and techniques. In the past, these included key advances on empirical methods to assess the impact of policy interventions on economic outcomes, to model and measure income risk or to measure how labour supply responds to financial incentives to work. We continue to make advances on these areas with a focus on developing models and methods to study the dynamic behaviour of individuals and firms, the structure of the education, labour and marriage markets, and their implications for policy design and evaluation.

IFS also produces a wealth of resources, including software tools, method surveys and pedagogical video-clips on key methods, which are publicly available for use by the larger research community.

Jointly with the Department of Economics at the University College London, IFS hosts the Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice (cemmap), a research centre that aims to develop, apply and improve the understanding of empirical methods for economic analysis.

 

Selected highlights

Journal article | Econometrica
We consider the identification of the average treatment effect in models with continuous endogenous variables whose impact is heterogeneous and derive a testable restriction that allows us to assess the degree of unobserved heterogeneity.
Journal article | Econometrica
changes_in_the_distribution_of_male_and_female_wages_accounting_for_employment_composition_using_bounds
This paper examines changes in the distribution of wages using bounds to allow for the impact of nonrandom selection into work.
Journal article | Quarterly Journal of Economics
This paper places the debate over using consumption or income in studies of inequality growth in a formal intertemporal setting. It highlights the importance of permanent and transitory income uncertainty in the evaluation of growth in consumption inequality.
Journal article | Econometrica
estimating_labour_supply_responses_using_tax_reforms
The 1980s tax reforms and the changing dispersion of wages offer one the best opportunities yet to estimate labour supply effects.
Journal article | Journal of the American Statistical Association
treatment_evaluation_with_selective_participation_and_ineligibles

Matching methods for treatment evaluation based on a conditional independence assumption do not balance selective unobserved differences between treated and non-treated. We derive a simple correction term if there is an instrument that shifts the treatment probability to zero in special cases. ...

Software
This package accompanies a presentation given at the 2010 German Stata Users Group meeting in Berlin.

Contacts

Contact IFS on 020 7291 4800 or mailbox@ifs.org.uk