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ESRC Festival of Social Science 2021



The ESRC Festival of Social Science 2021 will run from 1-30 November 2021, with online events organised by institutions across the UK.

As part of the festival, we are holding a series of events throughout the month. All of these events will be free to watch on the IFS website. A listing of our events is below, with links to more information and to register where available:

Public Economics Lectures

Each year early career economists at IFS deliver public economics talks, aimed at A-level and undergraduate students who have an interest in economics or might want to pursue a career in public policy research. As part of this year’s Festival of Social Science, we will be live streaming a selection of lectures from the series.

These webinars are primarily aimed at final year undergraduates studying economics, but should be useful to anyone interested in the subject. There will be time allowed for Q&A on each topic.

1st November | 16:00 - 17:00: Why are pensions important?

8th November | 16:00 - 17:00: Inequality: what do we know, and why do we care?

15th November | 16:00 - 17:00: The Curse of graduating during a recession

22nd November | 16:00 - 17:00: The economics of higher education

29th November | 16:00 - 17:00: Why tax corporate income? (And what can go wrong when we do?)

Tuesday 9th November

The price we pay for carbon: can taxes take us to net zero?

Online | 14:00 - 15:00

Solving climate change will require big behavioural changes from all of us. What makes tax such an important part of this solution? What does the government currently do with tax policy? What have we achieved so far and what are the remaining challenges? This lecture is aimed to anyone of particular interest to anyone who is interested in how economics can help address the problems caused by climate change. This hour-long online event will feature a series of short talks by IFS researchers and climate change experts, followed by time for your questions.

This event will be live streamed on the IFS website. Click here for more information on this event.

Thursday 18th November

Saving the environment: think like an economist

Online | 17:00 - 18:00

Economics is about more than just money - it is about a set of tools we can use to solve all sorts of problems. At this interactive online workshop for A level students, IFS researchers will explain how we can use economics to address big environmental issues facing the world, and will help you to think like an economist. We will look at how the tools of economics can be used to address issues like air pollution, rising air temperatures and traffic jams, their impact on various people and how we could think about evaluating them. At the end of the workshop, IFS researchers will also discuss what they do at work and how economists address these challenges.

This workshop is open to young people aged 16-18 who are interested in what economists do at work, and those interested in a career in economics. Click here for more information on this event.

Monday 22nd November

Health and social care: what are the challenges after COVID?

Online | 13:00 - 14:00

What impact has the pandemic had on the NHS? How much activity has been missed, and what does this mean for waiting lists and the elective care backlog? What are the likely pressures on the NHS going forward - not just from COVID-19, but also from an ageing population? How much funding might be needed to meet these? And will the government's latest reforms really be enough to 'fix' social care? This hour-long online event will feature a series of short talks by IFS researchers and policy experts from the Health Foundation and King's Fund on post-COVID challenges for the health and social care system.

This event will be live streamed on the IFS website. Click here for more information on this event.

Monday 26th November

Early years inequalities in the wake of the pandemic

Online | 10:30 - 11:45

There are important inequalities in the development of children well before they start school. By forcing nurseries to close and dramatically altering the lives of most families with young children, the pandemic may have exacerbated existing inequalities and possibly created new ones.

This event, chaired by Carey Oppenheim, will start with a presentation of some of the most recent evidence available on inequalities in the early years and the impact that the pandemic has had and is likely to have on them. The presentation will be followed by a debate between various early years policy experts about how best to address inequalities within the current spending envelope.

This event will be live streamed on the IFS website. Click here for more information on this event.


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