Thematically, all major social transfer programmes are analysed, such as pensions, parental leave benefits, sick pay, unemployment compensation and social assistance. In addition, research covers numerous forms of publicly financed services such as health care, education, housing and labour market programs. Lastly, certain social policy programs that cannot be classified as either transfers or services are also examined, for example availability and taxation policies as part of alcohol policy.

The analyses of the programmes encompass large parts of the world, with an emphasis on industrialised Western countries and Sweden. Additionally, research includes also social policy in Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia, South America and Africa. The analyses span the time period from ca 1950 onwards, with a certain emphasis on recent programme developments.

Research at the individual and societal levels

Research is conducted from both macro as well as micro perspectives. The macro analyses study for example different explanations for the development of social policy, while the micro analyses shed light on short and long term consequences of social policy programmes at the individual level. Recurring research questions include the interplay between separate programmes and the programmes’ consequences in a life course perspective.

SOCPOL databases

An important part of the work at the unit involves the establishment and development of research infrastructure, mainly databases such as the Social Citizenship Indicator Program (SCIP), the Social Policy Indicator Database (SPIN) and the Stockholm Birth Cohort Study (SBC). Descriptions of these data sets are available by clicking on the separate links seen to the left. The links also include presentations of current research projects located at the unit. In addition, researchers from the unit are also involved in projects placed at other research institutions in Sweden and abroad. Further descriptions of these projects are found on the individual websites of the researchers.