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Social policy analysis pillar

Policy evaluations require micro-level data of high quality, but need also reliable and systematic information concerning institutional arrangements. In order to account for individual level outcomes in terms of poverty, living and working conditions, it is necessary to incorporate these arrangements of social and labour market policies into the analytic framework. The lack of relevant and accurate institutional data has constrained comparative research. analyses often have been limited to expenditure data, sometimes standardised by changes in welfare need across countries and time. these data from the national accounts are problematic for various reasons. One example is the poor linkage between social expenditures and underlying causal processes of policy organisation and outcomes. Comparative research requires more precise and valid indicators on the institutional design of policies in areas that are crucial for social development. The collection of systematic comparative institutional data and the establishment of policy indicator data sets are important steps to realise this objective.


The model family approach has been vital for this re-orientation of welfare state research to an institutional analysis, according to which eligibility criteria and entitlement levels are calculated based on national regulations for a set of typical household types. Due to the clarity about the underlying assumptions for data collection, the model family approach generates institutional indicators of relevance for the functioning of policies, for example, the level of social insurance replacement rates and the generosity of minimum income benefits, work incentives and marginal tax rates. More precisely, such comparative and institutional policy indicators show how different tax and benefit systems affect the income situation of otherwise similar household types across countries. The policy analysis offered by the EUROMOD is a next step forward to overcome the problem of the partial coverage of social protection of the data sets and studies based on the model family approach.

EUROMOD provides the baseline for the InGRID contributions in this pillar. EUROMOD is a state-of-the-art policy analysis tool that allows studies on the functioning of and interplays between different types of tax and benefit programmes, thereby making in depth distributional policy analysis possible. EUROMOD links micro-data from household surveys and policy regulation (codified into analysable units) in a single user interface. EUROMOD can be uses to answer a wide range of counterfactual questions related, for example, to the effects of policy reforms in terms of poverty, inequality, incentives and government budgets. EUROMOD can also be used to study, for example, how demographic and labour market changes affect the functioning of policy. EUROMOD is now expanded to cover all EU Member States.

Research activities


For the Policy analysis research pillar the objectives are:

  • to develop an integrated research infrastructure on policy analysis;
  • to develop new tools and competence in the collection of comparative and institutional policy data;
  • to provide input for a web-portal that provides the research community and stakeholders with classification and analytical tools for on-line policy analysis;
  • to develop new methods and tools to generate comparative and institutional policy data of relevance for poverty, living and employment conditions;
  • to develop an institutional and comparative perspective on policy areas and programmes where good quality data are lacking;
  • to improve the possibilities for linking institutional data to micro-level outcomes in the area of poverty and social inclusion;
  • to create necessary incentives to assure commitment and operation of the integrated research infrastructure beyond the project period.



Partners involved


  • The Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholms Universitet (pillar leader)

  • CSB - Centre for Social Policy, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • ISER - Institute for Social & Economic Research, University of Essex

  • Dipartimento di Economia e Menagement, Università di Pisa

  • CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies

  • CEPS - Centre d’Etudes de Population de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques
  • AIAS, Universiteit van Amsterdam







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  • Last modified 30-09-2013