IFS annual lecture

IFS annual lectures

The IFS/CPP annual lectures have featured some of the world's top economists discussing policy issues of global importance.

Professor Heidi Williams - Innovation and productivity policies: a budgetary perspective

Professor Heidi Williams, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, gave the 2024 IFS Annual Lecture on "Innovation and productivity policies: a budgetary perspective" on 15th May. You can watch her presentation below, and download her slides here.

Previous IFS/CPP annual lectures

2006Professor Alan AuerbachThe importance of inheritance tax
2007Professor Sir Tim BesleyThe political economy of data
2008Sir Vince Cable MPRevisiting the framework of economic policy
2011Professor Esther DufloRethinking policy towards global poverty
2012Sir Andrew DilnotNumbers and public policy
2013Professor Stephen MachinEconomics of education research and the making of education policy
2014Professor Raj ChettyThe determinants of social mobility
2015Professor James BanksExtending working lives: a solution to the challenges of an ageing population?
2016Professor Sir Angus DeatonCan the government make us happy? Should it try?
2017Professor David AutorEconomic and political consequences of China's rise for the United States
2018Professor Janet CurrieLife, death, and mental health: how access to childcare helps children succeed
2019Professor Penny GoldbergThe unequal effects of globalisation
2020Lord Gus O'DonnellThe Covid Tragedy: following the science or the sciences?
2021Professor Jean TiroleThe common good after Covid
2022Baroness Minouche ShafikWhat we owe each other: A new social contract
2023Professor Nick BloomDoes working from home have a future?

Professor Nick Bloom - Does working from home have a future?

Professor Nick Bloom, William Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University, gave the 2023 IFS Annual Lecture on "Does working from home have a future?" on 18th May. You can watch his presentation below, and download his slides here.

Baroness Minouche Shafik - What we owe each other: A new social contract

Baroness Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), gave the 2022 IFS Annual Lecture. You can watch her presentation below, and download her slides here.

Professor Jean Tirole - The common good after Covid

Jean Tirole is member-founder of the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) and of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST). He is also affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he holds a position of Visiting Professor, and the Institut de France. He has published over two hundred articles in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as twelve scientific books. Published in English in 2017, his latest book, entitled “Economics for the Common Good”, is accessible to a wide audience and available in a number of languages. Jean Tirole was awarded (solo) the Nobel Prize in economics in 2014 for his analysis of market power and regulation. 

Download Professor Tirole's slides here.

Watch the full lecture above, or a summary of Professor Tirole's argument below.

Lord Gus O'Donnell: The Covid Tragedy: following the science or the sciences?

In this lecture Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary to three Prime Ministers and head of the Civil Service, will look at possible lessons from the relatively poor performance of the UK, in responding to the Covid crisis, on both health and economic dimensions.

Read the full speech here.

Pinelopi (Penny) Goldberg: The unequal effects of globalization

Professor Goldberg is the Chief Economist of the World Bank Group and is on public service leave from Yale University, where she is the Elihu Professor of Economics. Professor Goldberg brings decades of experience as an applied microeconomist drawn to policy-relevant questions in trade and development. She has exploited a broad set of methodological approaches to provide insights into such diverse topics as the determinants and effects of trade policies, trade and inequality, intellectual property rights protection in developing countries, exchange rate passthrough, pricing to market, and international price discrimination. 

Download Professor Goldberg's slides

Janet Currie: Life, death, and mental health: How access to care helps children succeed

Professor Janet Currie is Chair of the Department of Economics at Princeton University. Professor Currie’s research focuses on health and wellbeing, especially of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in health and access to health care, environmental threats to health, and mental health.

Download Professor Currie's slides

David Autor: Economic and political consequences of China's rise for the United States: lessons from the China shock

Professor David Autor is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a world expert on the effect of trade on the labour market and wages. Much of Professor Autor's research has focused on the impact of technological change and globalisation on inequality. In particular, his work has examined the effects of increased US-China trade on employment, politics and even marriage rates, addressing both the economic benefits and the costs of trade integration.

Download Professor Autor's slides

Angus Deaton: Can the government make us happy? Should it try?

Professor Sir Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. In October 2015 he was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He chairs the IFS Deaton Review of inequality.

James Banks:Extending working lives: a solution to the challenges of an ageing population?

Drawing on more than 20 years of empirical research Professor James Banks, one of the principal investigators of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a co-director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at IFS, and one of the UK's leading researchers in the economics of ageing, gave the 2015 IFS annual lecture.

Download Professor Banks' slides

Raj Chetty:The determinants of social mobility: New evidence and policy lessons

Professor Raj Chetty is the Bloomberg Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Chetty's research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on tax policy, unemployment insurance, and education has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony.

Stephen Machin: Economics of education research and the making of education policy

Professor Stephen Machin is Professor of Economics at University College London and Research Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. His work focuses on a range of topics including labour market inequality, the economics of education, and the economics of crime.

Andrew Dilnot: Numbers and public policy: the power of official statistics and statistical communication in public policy-making

Sir Andrew Dilnot is Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford and recent chair of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support and the UK Statistics Authority. Andrew was director of IFS between 1991 and 2002.

Esther Duflo: Rethinking policy towards global poverty

Professor Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and a founder and director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research network specializing in randomized evaluations of social programs, which won the BBVA Foundation "Frontier of Knowledge" award in the development cooperation category. Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health and policy evaluation. On 14 October 2019, Esther was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

Download Professor Duflo's slides

Vince Cable: Revisiting the framework of economic policy

Sir Vince Cable MP has been the member of Parliament for Twickenham between 1997 and 2015, and from 2017 onwards. He was leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2017 to 2019, and has published several books on economics and the financial crisis. In his IFS Annual Lecture, Sir Vince argued that over a decade of steady growth, low inflation and ever expanding employment were threatened by the consequences of severe asset inflation (and, potentially, deflation) and financial instability and imported inflation.

Tim Besley: The political economy of data

Professor Sir Tim Besley is School Professor of Economics of Political Science and W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics at LSE. In his IFS Annual Lecture, Professor Sir Tim looked at the production of data and statistics as a purposeful activity by the state and private organizations in both historical and modern settings.

Download Professor Sir Tim's slides

Alan Auerbach:The importance of inheritance tax

Professor Alan Auerbach is Professor of Economics and Law at the University of California at Berkeley. In his IFS Annual Lecture, Professor Auerbach argued that taxing inheritance may be unpopular, but it has an important role to play in the tax system.

Download a summary of Professor Auerbach's talk

IFS events

For conferences, seminars and other events, see the IFS events page.