David Phillips

David Phillips's picture
Job Title: 
Senior research economist
The Institute for Fiscal Studies
Email Address: 

David is a Senior Research Economist, currently working in the Direct Tax and Welfare sector and the Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policy (EDePo@IFS). Most of David's work is arranged around the broad themes of poverty, inequality and the tax and benefit system and includes projects both in the UK and in middle income countries. Recent projects include analysis of the distributional and behavioural impacts of tax reforms in Mexico and El Salvador for the World Bank; an assessment of the impact of welfare reforms on labour supply in Wales; and analysis of poverty and inequality in the UK.He is also working with Magali Beffy, Guy Laroque and Costas Meghir on models of family labour supply, a piece of work that has grown out of his work for the Mirrlees Review. More recent research interests include local government spending and the analysis of fiscal issues in the devolved nations of the UK, especially those related to the Scottish independence debate. He also has experience analysing social capital, human capital and consumer demand.

Project Job Role: 
Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy


View recent blog entries
Member for
4 years 4 months

Posts by this author:

In this observation, David Phillips of the IFS discusses what the GERS figures tell us about Scotland’s notional fiscal position in 2013-14. On March 11th, the Scottish Government published the latest version of its annual Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) publication on Scotland’s... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
On November 27th 2014, the Smith Commission published proposals for further devolution of powers to Scotland. We now know what is to be devolved – the UK and Scottish Governments now have the more prosaic task of implementing the changes. Getting the details of how the taxes and welfare are devolved... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
This briefing note takes a step back from the big questions about whether there should be further tax devolution and whether there should be a move to a needs-based formula. Instead, it focuses on the more technical – but important – question of how devolved taxes should interact with the block gran... Read more
Post type: Publication
Paul Johnson and David Phillips of the Institute for Fiscal Studies ask whether the Scottish NHS is more financially secure within or outwith the union. The future of the welfare state, and particularly of the NHS, has taken centre stage in the Scottish independence debate in recent days. Scotland’s... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
David Phillips discusses IFS research on how welfare policy might be funded in an independence scenario, drawing our attention to potential funding challenges. The future of the welfare state has emerged as a key issue in the Scottish independence debate. The Scottish Government has said it would of... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
David Phillips of the Institute for Fiscal Studies shares his observations on the annual Government Expenditutre and Revenues report, reflecting on declining returns from North Sea oil. The Scottish Government has published the latest version of its annual Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotlan... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Designing an appropriate system of benefits and social protection is an important task for any modern state. The first thing the White Paper does is set out the broad principles that the Scottish Government says would guide its long-term approach in an independent Scotland. These include the better... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Guest blog by David Phillips, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) This blog originally appeared on British Politics and Policy at LSE blog In the run up to elections politicians are often less than fully open about their plans for taxes and spending. They often claim that they will only know what is... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
There has been a growing debate about how the benefits system (that is, the system of state benefits, pensions and tax credits) may be affected if Scotland becomes independent. This debate takes place at a time when the benefits system that Scotland currently shares with the rest of the UK is going... Read more
Post type: Publication

Latest blogs

  • 22nd March 2018

    The devolved legislatures’ ‘continuity’ legislation prepares their statute books for Brexit in the event of an ongoing impasse with the UK Government over the so-called ‘power grab’ in the EU Withdrawal Bill. Professor Nicola McEwen suggests these ongoing discussions and debates provide insight into the challenges and opportunities likely to shape ongoing intergovernmental relationships.

  • 22nd March 2018

    Two decades have passed since there was last a serious consideration of how the UK uses referendums. In the light of the Referendums of recent years, our colleagues at the Constitution Unit at UCL established the Independent Commission on Referendums. Ahead of a public event in Edinburgh, the Commission's research director, Dr Alan Renwick, explains its terms of reference.

  • 9th March 2018

    Stephen Hornsby, a partner at Goodman Derrick LLP, comments on Michael Keating's recent paper on the policy making implications of Brexit for agriculture in the UK.

  • 9th March 2018

    In response to the apparent surge in support for Corsican nationalists, President Macron has made it clear that Corsica will not be allowed to distinguish itself further from the rest of France. However, says Dr Alexendra Remond, support for autonomy may be symptomatic more of disenchantment with the status quo than of growing Corsican nationalism.

  • 2nd March 2018

    With little enough fanfare, Cabinet Office Minister David Liddington MP set out how Britain will operate post-Brexit. Prof Michael Kenny and Jack Sheldon consider what he had to say.

Read More Posts