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David Phillips

David Phillips

Associate Director

Education

MSc Economics (Distinction), University College London, 2009
BA Economics (1st Class), University of Cambridge, 2006

David is an Associate Director and helps lead two main areas of research at the Institute. First is work on devolved and local government finance, with a particular focus on the distribution of funding, and the incentives and risks that different funding regimes entail for sub-national government, as well as responses to these incentives. This includes work on the fiscal frameworks of Scotland and Wales and on the ongoing major changes to English local government finance. Second is work on tax and social protection policy in developing countries, including the joint IFS - ODI Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TaxDev) funded by DfID. This centre aims to generate new research, analysis and in-country analytical capacity in the area of tax and social protection policy and administration in (or of relevance to) DfID-priority countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda. 

David also has experience of working on a range of other issues including inter-personal and geographical inequalities; labour supply; consumer demand; human capital investment; and social capital. This experience helps inform his ongoing research, especially on tax policy design in developing countries.

Academic outputs

Journal article
We use microsimulation models to study the effects of reduced VAT rates and exemptions on revenues, poverty and inequality. In isolation, reduced VAT rates and exemptions in six LMICs studied are poverty-reducing. They are often expensive in terms of foregone tax revenue, and in all cases richer ...
Journal article
This paper exploits kinks and notches in the UK personal tax schedule over a 40-year period to investigate how taxpayers respond to income tax and social security contributions. It also develops a new approach for identifying selection in who responds and for decomposing responses into hours and ...

Reports and comment

Observation
Plans for a Scottish ‘National Care Service’ would centralise over £4 billion of spending and may not lead to more consistent services.
Observation
A failure to properly account for population in Welsh councils’ Shared Prosperity Fund allocations is costing larger councils millions of pounds.

Presentations

Presentation
At this event, IFS researchers put the Levelling Up White Paper in context by outlining the current pattern of taxes and public spending around the country and presenting new work that looks at geographic inequalities in labour market outcomes.
Presentation
In this presentation at the Local Government Association's Annual Local Government Finance Conference (2022), IFS researchers explained the economic and fiscal outlook, looked at how councils' finances have fared during the pandemic, and the funding outlook and issues facing the sector in the next ...