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Graham Stark

Senior Research Fellow

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy on the NIHR funded project (NIHR154451) ‘Understanding the prospective public health impact and social feasibility of Universal Basic Income schemes in the UK: Developing microsimulation of impact on self-rated health and QALYs and public engagement with “left behind” communities to understand “willingness to pay”’. My work focuses on the distributional impacts of basic income schemes and development of a public acceptability tool that will enable users to understand the impact of different features of policy on people’s preferences.

My work at Northumbria reflects career-long research interests. As founder of Virtual Worlds, I am a leading specialist in microsimulation modelling of tax-benefit systems, programming software, databases and interfaces. Most significantly, I am the creator of TAXBEN, the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ tax and benefit microsimulation model (https://ifs.org.uk/publications/572). This is regarded by the UK Government as the leading model for public policy purposes and continues to shape analysis of tax-benefit reform.

Having started my career in Economics at Lancaster University, I spent 18 years as Senior Research Officer at the IFS, before starting my own consultancy, Virtual Worlds. During my time at the IFS, I produced a body peer-reviewed journal articles (below) and was responsible for a large number of reports that achieved impact with policy makers and Government departments, such as the DSS/DWP and provided rapid response assessment of Budgets for media outlets.

Throughout my career, I have published peer-reviewed research in leading periodicals using cutting edge analysis of big data, particularly on distributional impacts of tax reforms and on the cost of welfare and social care. That focus extends throughout the UK, to the US, parts of Africa and Europe, granting capacity for comparative analysis of societies with different income levels. Since beginning consultancy, I have received over £500,000 in funding from public and third sector bodies (Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly, United Nations, etc.), on top of regular grant acquisition while at the IFS (Nuffield, etc.).

I am currently completing a PhD by Publication which relates to academic research conducted as Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Open University and as Director of Virtual Worlds.

Graham Stark

My published research falls into four broad themes:

Means testing 

Dilnot Andrew, Graham Stark, and Steven Webb. 1987. ‘The Targeting of Benefits: Two Approaches’. Fiscal Studies 8 (1): 83–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1987.tb00434.x.

Fry, Vanessa, and Graham Stark. 1987. ‘The Take-Up of Supplementary Benefit: Gaps in the “Safety Net”?’ Fiscal Studies 8 (4): 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1987.tb00302.x.

Fry, Vanessa, and Graham Stark. 1992. The Takeup of Means-Tested Benefits in the UK: The Transition to Income Support and Family Credit. Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Fry, Vanessa, and Graham Stark. 1993. ‘The Take-up of Means-Tested Benefits, 1984-90’. 1 January 1993. https://doi.org/10.1920/re.ifs.1993.0041.

Buck, Alexy, and Graham Stark. 2001. Means Assessment: Options for Change. LSRC Research Paper No.8. Legal Services Commission.

Buck, Alexy, and Graham Stark. 2003. Simplicity versus Fairness in Means Testing: The Case of Civil Legal Aid. Fiscal Studies 24 (4): 427–49. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.2003.tb00090.x.

Impacts of tax-welfare reforms

Dilnot, Andrew, and Graham Stark. 1986a. The Poverty Trap, Tax Cuts, and the Reform of Social Security. Fiscal Studies 7 (1): 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1986.tb00410.x.

Dilnot, Andrew, and Stark, Graham. 1986b. The Distributional Consequences of Mrs Thatcher. Fiscal Studies 7 (2): 48–53. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1986.tb00421.x.

Dilnot, Andrew, Graham Stark, Ian Walker, and Steven Webb. 1987. ‘The 1987 Budget in Perspective’. Fiscal Studies 8 (2): 48–57. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1987.tb00535.x.

Robinson, Bill, and Graham Stark. 1988. ‘The Tax Treatment of Marriage: What Has the Chancellor Really Achieved?’ Fiscal Studies 9 (2): 48–56.

Stark, Graham. 1988. ‘Partially Transferable Allowances’. Fiscal Studies 9 (1): 29–40. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1988.tb00310.x.

Johnson, Paul, and Graham Stark. 1989. ‘Ten Years of Mrs Thatcher: The Distributional Consequences’. Fiscal Studies 10 (2): 29–37.

Johnson, Paul, and Graham Stark. 1991. ‘The Effects of a Minimum Wage on Family Incomes’. Fiscal Studies 12 (3): 88–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1991.tb00164.x.

Understanding of microsimulation methods

Johnson, Paul, Steven Webb, and Graham Stark. 1990. ‘TAXBEN2: The New IFS Tax and Benefit Model’. IFS Working Paper W90/5. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1989.tb00107.x.

Coulter, Fiona, Graham Stark, and Stephen Smith. 1995. ‘Micro-Simulation Modelling of Personal Taxation and Social Security Benefits in the Czech Republic’. IFS Working Paper Series W95/58.

Duncan, Alan, and Graham Stark. 2000. ‘A Recursive Algorithm to Generate Piecewise Linear Budget Contraints’. 2 May 2000. https://doi.org/10.1920/wp.ifs.2000.0011.

Reed, Howard, and Graham Stark. 2011. Modelling the Costs for Individuals and Public Authorities in Wales of Alternative Funding Systems for the Long-Term Care of Adults: Stage 1 Report: Building a Forecasting Model for Long-Term Care in Wales. Welsh Assembly Government.

Austerity-era poverty interventions

Since beginning consultancy, I have received over £500,000 in funding from public and third sector bodies (Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly, United Nations, etc.), on top of regular grant acquisition while at the IFS (Nuffield, etc.). This has led to cutting edge research on the impact of austerity-era poverty interventions:

Reed, Howard, and Graham Stark. 2011. Modelling the Costs for Individuals and Public Authorities in Wales of Alternative Funding Systems for the Long-Term Care of Adults. Welsh Assembly Government.

Reed, Howard, and Graham Stark. 2013. Costing the “When I Am Ready” Scheme. Action for Children Wales/Gweithredu dros Blant.

Reed, Howard, and Graham Stark. 2018. Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan: Forecasting Child Poverty in Scotland. Scottish Government. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/03/2911/0.

Reed, Howard, and Graham Stark. 2020. Giving Care Leavers the Chance to Stay: Staying Put Six Years on: Technical Report. Action for Children England. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-5890.1988.tb00319.x.

Reed, Howard, and Graham Stark. 2009a. Assessing the Ability to Pay for the Fees Charged by Charities: Phase 1 & 2. February, 36. Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR). http://www.oscr.org.uk/publications-and-guidance/affordability-reportphase-2/.

Stark, Graham. 2021. Staying Put Six Years on: 2021 Update. Action for Children England.

 

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Assessing the prospective impacts of Universal Basic Income on anxiety and depression among 14-24-year-olds, Johnson, M., Cookson, R., Villadsen, A., Mujica, F., Stark, G., Pickett, K., Johnson, E., Nettle, D. 2023
  • Changing circumstances and new basic premises: turning the affordability and feasibility relationship on its head: a reply to ‘The big tax hikes that make UBI “affordable” could be used to cut poverty in more targeted ways’ by Donald Hirsch, Reed, H., Johnson, M., Lansley, S., Johnson, E., Stark, G., Pickett, K. 1 Feb 2023, In: Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
  • The Health Case for Basic Income, Johnson, E., Reed, H., Stark, G., Villadsen, A., Mujica, F., Kypridemos, C., Cookson, R., Nettle, D., Pickett, K., Johnson, M. 30 Oct 2023
  • Treating Causes Not Symptoms: Basic Income as a Public Health Measure, Johnson, E., Reed, H., Nettle, D., Stark, G., Chrisp, J., Howard, N., Gregory, G., Goodman, C., Smith, M., Coates, J., Robson, I., Mujica, F., Pickett, K., Johnson, M. 10 Jul 2023
  • Universal Basic Income is affordable and feasible: evidence from UK economic microsimulation modelling, Reed, H., Johnson, M., Lansley, S., Johnson, E., Stark, G., Pickett, K. 1 Feb 2023, In: Journal of Poverty and Social Justice

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