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IFS Zooms In: The Economy
44 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Can the NHS recover from COVID?
'Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.'More than ever, the COVID crisis has bought the NHS and the vital role it plays to the fore. However, after more than a year of unprecedented pressure, it faces long waiting lists, staffing shortages and inadequate funding. What challenges will the NHS face in the future? How can it tackle these issues? And what can government do to help? Joining us this week are George Stoye, IFS Associate Director who leads our work on healthcare, and Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, the membership organisation for NHS trusts.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
43 minutes | May 19, 2021
Are too many people going to university?
In September 1999, Tony Blair set a goal for 50% of young adults to attend higher education institutions in the UK. In 2019, twenty years after the policy was announced, university attendance tipped over the 50% threshold. However, in a world where many graduates work in non-graduate jobs, and where successive governments seek to develop further education in the UK, many have questioned the wisdom of this policy.This week, we speak with Jack Britton, IFS education expert, and Professor Alison Wolf, Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at Kings College London, to find out whether too many people going to university.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
37 minutes | May 5, 2021
Has COVID transformed the labour market?
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the government has stepped in to pay the wages of millions of workers through the furlough scheme. As restrictions ease, and economic life begins to recover, we ask what changes COVID brought to the labour market, and what jobs could look like in future.This week, we speak with Sarah O'Connor, Employment Columnist at the Financial Times, and Jonathan Cribb, a Senior Research Economist at IFS who studies the labour market.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
43 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Are business rates killing the high street?
Business rates are charged on non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, pubs, factories and warehouses, and raise around 3% government's revenue.At the start of the COVID pandemic, the government waived business rates for most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. But the tax will start again from summer. As the high street reopens, we ask what effect business rates have on our high streets, whether they should be reformed, and whether we need a new tax on online retail to level the playing field. This week, we speak with Helen Miller, IFS tax expert, and Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
HIGHLIGHT: Geographical inequalities in the UK
The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the fore increasing concerns about inequalities not only between different population groups – such as the gap between the rich and poor, young and old, and different ethnic groups – but also between people living in different places.Even prior to the crisis though, there was a sense that the UK is not only a highly geographically unequal country, but also an increasingly geographically unequal one.This week, we have gone into the archive to bring you an episode from last year exploring geographical inequalities with David Phillips, Associate Director at IFS and an expert on devolved and local government finance.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
34 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
The productivity problem
In the past decade, the UK has seen some of the slowest rates of productivity growth of the OECD countries, with output per hour and real wages no higher today than they were prior to the global financial crisis. Why is a high-tech, developed economy like the UK struggling to be more productive? What policies can government implement to get productivity growing again? And how can we spur innovation while also tackling issues like inequality?This week, we speak to John Van Reenen, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, and expert on innovation, firms and productivity.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
45 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Universal Credit: The future of benefits?
Universal Credit is a benefit for working-age people, which combines six existing benefits payments into one payment. Launched in 2013, there are now over 5.5 million households claiming Universal Credit in the UK. What was the thinking behind this new policy? Has it been successful? And how has COVID affected the trajectory of Universal Credit?This week, Paul speaks with Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform and a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, and Tom Waters, Senior Research Economist at IFS and expert on benefits. Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
39 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Budget 2021: The road to recovery?
The Spring 2021 Budget will be the first one since the UK entered a series of lockdowns and Great Britain left the EU's Single Market and Customs Union. The Chancellor has immediate decisions to make over many aspects of the emergency support packages that will otherwise expire soon. In addition there is a clear need for policies to help the economy to recover and to adjust to a post-Covid, post-Brexit world in which we are moving towards Net Zero. In this episode, Paul speaks with IFS Deputy Directors, Carl Emmerson and Helen Miller to explore the kinds of things the Chancellor should be thinking about.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
41 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Catching up on lost learning
By the time the pandemic is over, most children across the UK will have missed over half a year of normal, in-person schooling. That’s likely to be more than 5% of their entire time in school.What are the effects of this lost learning? How is it impacting students and teachers? What can policymakers do to make up for lost learning?Here to discuss are Luke Sibieta, IFS Research Fellow, and Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation, an independent charity which seeks to improve the educational attainment of the poorest pupils in English schools.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
42 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
The economics of net zero
The UK has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. To achieve this, nearly all sections of the economy will have to undergo significant changes - from trade and transport, to agriculture and construction. What will this shift look like? How easy will it be to transition? What role will government play in driving net zero?Here to talk through these issues is Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK's Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK’s independent advisory group on tackling climate change.Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
46 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
The state of inequality with Sir Angus Deaton
For many, inequality has become the dominant lens through which to understand our society. The coronavirus crisis and political upheavals in the US and UK have shone a harsh light on the increasing inequalities we face, and prove that not everyone is affected equally. In our first episode of 2021, we speak with Nobel Laureate Sir Angus Deaton, Professor of Economics at Princeton University and leading expert on inequality, poverty and welfare. He also chairs Inequality: The IFS Deaton Review, our multi-year study into inequality in the modern world, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.https://www.ifs.org.uk/about/membership/individual See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
53 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
SPECIAL: Making sense of 2020
It’s now cliché to say that 2020 has been unprecedented, but the COVID-19 crisis has turned the lives of billions of us worldwide upside down. From record-level UK government borrowing and a furlough scheme paying the wages of many workers, to society-wide lockdowns and a seemingly ever-shifting regime of tiers, 2020 is a year like no other.As we say goodbye to 2020 and ready ourselves for 2021, our Director Paul Johnson sits down with Stephanie Flanders, head of Bloomberg Economics and IFS alumna, to make sense of 2020 and see what we can learn from it going into the New Year. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
40 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
What's going on with Brexit?
As the UK has been dealing with coronavirus pandemic this year, we have also been moving closer to the realities of our new relationship with the European Union, and the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1st, 2021. What does this mean for our future trading relationships with the EU and beyond? What happens if there is No Deal? Joining Paul this week is Professor L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory in the University of Sussex, former Chief Economist of Department for International Development (DFID), and leading contributor to the debate on Brexit. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
34 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Prices in a crisis
We often hear about inflation in the news, whether it has gone up or down, and how this impacts the price of everyday goods. But what do economists mean by inflation, how do they measure it, and is inflation the best way of understanding the changes in the price of goods? This week we speak with Martin O'Connell, Deputy Research Director at IFS and author of a recent paper looking at grocery prices during the pandemic, and Ian Crawford, Professor of Economics at Oxford. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
What’s happened to benefits through the pandemic?
There has been significant analysis of the furlough scheme in the wake of COVID-19, but far less attention has been paid to the welfare system and how benefits are being affected by the pandemic. The temporary increases to working age benefits implemented this year take total welfare spending to record levels, though the UK’s support system is still thin by international standards. This episode, we speak to Robert Joyce, IFS Deputy Director and Head of our Income, Work and Welfare sector, about how COVID-19 has impacted the UK’s welfare system and what might happen to benefits in future. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
40 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
What's happening with government debt?
Government borrowing is never far from the headlines, and in the current crisis, has been a central mechanism for the government to fund its economic support measures. There are many questions around the current level of government debt, whether it is too high, what the long-term implications are and if the government can continue to borrow at its current level. This week we speak with David Miles, Professor at Imperial College London and a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England, to answer these questions about government debt in the COVID era. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
39 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Counting the cost of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic and the public health measures implemented to contain it will lead to a huge spike in government borrowing this year. This week we released our annual Green Budget report analysing the impact the coronavirus crisis has had across different sectors of the economy and the big decisions confronting the Chancellor. In this episode, we speak with Green Budget chapter authors Ben Nabarro, Economist at Citi, and Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director at IFS, to get a sense of how big government borrowing could get and what the long-term impacts will be.' See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25 minutes | Oct 6, 2020
How is coronavirus affecting older workers?
Older workers are one group of people who are at risk of suffering serious and persistent consequences from the economic turmoil arising from the coronavirus pandemic. Previous research has shown that unemployment shocks have persistent effects on the employment and incomes of older workers. In particular, older individuals who lose their jobs are less likely to secure re-employment, or to find a job on a similar wage to their previous earnings, than younger workers. Being unexpectedly out of work, or on lower wages, in the years leading up to retirement can have obvious negative implications for retirement resources. In this episode, we speak with Rowena Crawford, IFS Associate Director, who has recently published research on how the pandemic is impacting older workers. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
University Challenge: COVID-19 and higher education
The COVID pandemic has created huge uncertainly for students returning to university. Have student numbers remained stable in the face of the COVID-19 crisis? Has the A Level results debacle had an impact on admissions? Should students be paying full rates for an online-only experience? How are university finances doing more generally in the face of the coronavirus crisis?In this episode, we speak with Jack Britton, education expert at the IFS, to consider some of the complex questions facing the higher education sector. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | Sep 22, 2020
Moving on up: the state of social mobility
A socially mobile country provides equal opportunities for everyone, across big cities and small towns, and regardless of whether your parents are rich or poor. Social mobility is never far from the front pages; discussions around education, geographic and intergenerational inequalities and jobs affect everyone. Joining us this week is Lindsey MacMillan, Director of the new Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities and Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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