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Director's Page

A message from Paul Johnson, IFS director

Paul Johnson

Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by understanding better their impact on individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances. Our findings are based on rigorous analysis, detailed empirical evidence and in-depth institutional knowledge. We seek to communicate them effectively, to a wide range of audiences, thereby maximising their impact on policy both directly and by informing public debate.

We are established as Britain's leading independent microeconomic research institute, and as authoritative commentators on the public finances, tax and welfare policy, tax law, education, inequality and poverty, pensions, productivity and innovation, consumer behaviour and the evaluation of policies designed to promote development in poorer countries.

I have written recently in the press about research undertaken by colleagues and me, with direct relevance to the current policy debate. You can find links to them here; here you will find links to our online Observations on topical issues.

Other important recent work includes the Mirrlees Review, our 2014 Green Budget and analysis of recent Budget announcements.

As visitors to our website will find, we make all of our own publications available online free of charge, as well as making our journal articles Open Access, where the publishers allow it. Our remit is to inform the policy debate, producing top quality, independent analysis. We welcome support from charitable foundations, and public and private bodies, to help fund particular pieces of research - as long as we are free to publish our findings whether the funder likes them or not. But to undertake basic research, and to respond flexibly to policy development, we rely crucially on the core funding we receive from the Economic and Social Research Council. Without this support, the IFS could not have become what it is today.

You may be interested in

Newspaper article
"We’ll know we are on the way to levelling up when differences in health and life expectancy across the country start to drop. Sadly, that’s one measure of inequality that has clearly been moving in the wrong direction over the past decade." Paul Johnson writes for The Times on levelling up.
Newspaper article
But for a majority, families provide vital support when times get tough. The welfare state could not begin to operate without the care we provide for elderly parents, for disabled spouses, for sick children, as well as the financial support we provide each other when things go wrong.
Newspaper article
In his latest piece for The Times, Paul Johnson writes about the return to the office.