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Impact - 2020

Our academic impact


Hosting one of the UK’s only two prestigious UKRI-funded social science Research Institutes, IFS economists carry out cutting-edge empirical research on a par with our leading universities.

IFS Research Director, Rachel Griffith, was awarded honorary membership to the American Economic Association and - alongside IFS Research Fellow Carol Propper was made a Dame in the New Year's Honours List. 

Richard BlundellIFS Research Director Richard Blundell received the 2020 Jacob Mincer Award for lifetime contributions to field of labour economics. Additionally, with IFS colleagues, Richard won an ONS award for research excellence.

Imran RasulResearch Director Imran Rasul received an OBE for services to social sciences and appointed Fellow of the Econometric Society.

Our policy impact

Our research and expertise is drawn upon by national, regional and local policymakers in the UK and overseas, as well as MPs from all parties. We publish high quality, policy-relevant research:

  • In 2020, IFS was mentioned 186 times in parliamentary debates, and over 2,100 times in the last ten years. (Source: Hansard).
  • We produced 66 reports and briefing notes on key areas of UK policy in 2019.
  • Our annual flagship Green Budget report, setting out options and challenges for the Chancellor, was launched over livestream videos. These were watched by over 500 people at time of launch. To date, Green Budget related report pages have had over 100,000 views. 
  • Our work on COVID-19 and the economy has been viewed over 1 million times.

“When I worked in the Treasury, we knew the IFS would keep us honest...and we knew that having an independent check on our costings and analysis was an excellent discipline.”

Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Minister and IFS President


Working in collaboration

Inequality - The IFS Deaton Review

One of the fruits of IFS’s national and international collaboration with leading academics and policymakers is the Review of Inequalities in the 21st century , led by Novel Prize-winner, Sir Angus Deaton. The review involves over 100 academics from around the world, including Penny Goldberg (World Bank), Thomas Piketty (Paris) and Nobel-Prize winner Jean Tirole (Toulouse).

“I am delighted that IFS and the Nuffield Foundation have launched this review, and am honoured that I have been asked to chair it. It is an exciting prospect to work with so many distinguished scholars in so many disciplines to try to understand more about the nature of inequality, what it is about inequality that upsets so many people, and what might be done about it.”

Professor Sir Angus Deaton, Nobel Laureate and Chair of the Review

Find out more about Inequality: The IFS Deaton Review here.


Our impact on society

IFS event

We inform public and policy debates on issues such as education, health, inequality and the public finances. We significantly increased engagement and reach in 2020.

  • Our primary social media channel is Twitter, where we have over 41,000 followers. 
  • In 2020, our main website traffic continued to grow, resulting in 4.3 million page views.
  • We held 46 events in 2020, attended by 6,900 people from media, policy, business, third sector and the general public (1,500 more than 2018).

Our media impact

Paul Johnson from The IFS

IFS staff regularly engage with journalists from print, online and broadcast media. Our research, analysis and reactive commentary earned us over 25,000 UK media mentions in 2020 (source: Kantar).

“The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ genuine impartiality has become a major asset in scrutinising claims and counter claims.”

Heather Stewart, The Guardian