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

About the IFS

The Institute for Fiscal Studies was founded in 1969. Established as an independent research institute, IFS was launched with the principal aim of better informing public debate on economics in order to promote the development of effective fiscal policy. Through the establishment of rigorous independent research, for example the IFS Green Budget and Post Budget analysis, IFS successfully opened up debate about public policy to a wider audience and influenced policy decision making.

Today, IFS is Britain’s leading independent microeconomic research institute. Its research remit is one of the broadest in public policy analysis, covering subjects from tax and benefits to education policy, from labour supply to corporate taxation. Our research not only has an impact on policy makers, think tanks and practitioners, it has also gained a worldwide reputation for academic rigour, and contributes to the development of academic scholarship. We communicate our research widely on a national and international scale, providing independent advice to policy makers in the UK, Europe and in developing countries; collaborating with world renowned academics on new economic theories and techniques; and disseminating our research globally through the press, media and the web.

IFS is host to the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy which analyses fiscal policy to determine its effects on households and companies. The Centre’s work covers the full extent of policy impact, investigating the ways in which policies influence human capital investments, work and occupational choice, firm behaviour, saving and retirement decisions, consumer choices and the public finances.



IFS Research fellow Dr Abi Adams has been awarded the 2018 ESRC Outstanding Impact in Public Policy award. The award was given for her research on employment tribunal fees which contributed to the unanimous Supreme Court finding in July 2017 that the fee system for employment tribunal claimants was unlawful.

Her article on the adverse incentives of the fees, co-written with Dr Jeremias Prassl, was highlighted as a contribution to the Supreme Court verdict in a House of Commons Research briefing note. This successful case has inspired great interest in considering what evidence to draw on ...


An article by IFS authors was the most downloaded in the journal Economica for 2017. The article, 'Two Decades of Income Inequality in Britain: The Role of Wages, Household Earnings & Redistribution', by Chris Belfield, Richard Blundell, Jonthan Cribb, Andrew Hood, and Robert Joyce was published in Economica in January 2017. In the paper, the authors study earnings and income inequality in Britain over the past two decades, including the period of relatively ‘inclusive’ growth from 1997 to 2004, and the Great Recession.

Find the full article here or download the summary.


IFS director, Paul Johnson, has been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), for services to the social sciences and economics, in the Queen's birthday honours list 2018.


Annual recruitment round
Salary From £32,779 in 2018
Apply from October 2018
Closing date November 2018
Each year we recruit a number of outstanding post-doctoral economists to join our research teams.
Annual recruitment round
Salary Fees etc in line with ESRC rates
Apply from October 2018
Closing date January 2019
The IFS runs an annual Graduate Scholarship Programme, whereby students studying for a PhD on an accredited pathway at an ESRC doctoral training centre are affiliated with the IFS.