Professor Donald Hirsch

  • Emeritus Professor of Social Policy

Research groups and centres

Donald has been analysing trends and policies related to poverty and low income for over four decades. In the 1980s he was a journalist, latterly on The Economist. In the 1990s, after a period at the OECD, he was an international policy consultant, and between 1998 and 2008 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Poverty Adviser. He played a central role in establishing the Minimum Income Standard for the United Kingdom (MIS), joining Loughborough’s Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) in 2008 to lead the MIS work. He was Director of the Centre from 2012 to 2022. Since retiring from Loughborough, he has been policy adviser to abrdn Financial Fairness Trust, which funds a range of research related to income, assets and spending. Donald’s work has been influential in establishing a living wage for the UK, in developing strategies to combat child poverty and fuel poverty, in providing an evidence base for a more generous legal aid means test, announced in 2022, and in other areas of policy and practice.

Among the research projects that Donald played a leading role in at CRSP, up to 2022, were:

A Minimum Income Standard for the United Kingdom
(on-going: Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
The Cost of a Child
(on-going: Child Poverty Action Group and Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
Local child poverty indicators
(on-going: End Child Poverty Coalition)
For the latest information about CRSP Research please click here.