Alongside growth in overall employment and a steady rise in average real incomes, the UK has also experience a concentration of worklessness and low pay among certain groups in society. This is especially the case in low-income families with children. In response, the focus of welfare policy as shifted towards ‘making work pay’. In-work benefits such as the Working Families' Tax Credit, the national minimum wage, New Deal wage subsidies and training are among alternative policy options that have been implemented. This lecture will consider the validity of the arguments underlying this shift in welfare policy and, drawing on evidence from the UK and abroad, ask, Which policies work and why?
Professor Richard Blundell FBA, Professor of Economics, University College, London, and Research Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies