Professor Matt Padley

BSocSc (Hons), MA (Econ), MPhil

  • Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP)
  • Professor of Practice

Professor Matt Padley is Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP), where he conducts world-leading research relating to living standards and poverty in the UK and abroad. Matt’s work focuses on public conceptions and understanding of living standards, and how these can be used within public and social policy. Much of his research has centred on the development and application of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) methodology, and he has worked with teams in Mexico, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand on MIS research in these countries. He has overall responsibility for the quantitative research undertaken within CRSP, and supports and advises a wide range of organisations on their use of MIS data. In recent years, he has pioneered innovative and world-leading research on Retirement Living Standards which has been adopted across the UK pensions industry, providing an evidence base for people thinking about and planning their retirements, and informing the decisions of 35 million savers across 100 pension schemes in the UK. He is a board member of the EU Reference Budget platform and a member of the Global Living Wage Steering Group.

Matt’s research focuses on income, living standards, poverty and social exclusion, both in the UK and in other countries. Running through his research is a concern with exploring public understanding and definitions of living standards, often in opposition to more ‘official’ living standards indicators and measures. His research seeks to understand and explore the patterns, causes and consequences of social disadvantage, particularly with regard to income, and his research has included extensive work on living standards and income adequacy, housing affordability, poverty measurement and international conceptions of living standards. Matt has a particular interest in exploring the application of the MIS approach in the global South.

Since 2018, Matt has also pioneered work on Retirement Living Standards, building on the established MIS programme, that has been adopted across the UK pensions industry, providing an evidence base for savers in thinking about and planning for retirement.

As an experienced qualitative and quantitative researcher and analyst, Matt has also worked on a wide range of other projects including national policy evaluations, secondary data analysis of large UK surveys and in-depth qualitative research with low-income households and individuals. Matt has advised and consulted for a wide range of organisations, including Birmingham City Council, the Money and Pensions Service, Oxfam and Unite the Union.