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Stockholm University, SOFI

General information

The Swedish Institute for Social Research was founded on January 1st, 1972 through reorganisation of the Institute for Labour Market Research (founded in 1966), and was incorporated into Stockholm University on July 1st, 1981 and into the Faculty of Social Sciences on July 1st, 1994. At SOFI research is conducted on questions related to living conditions, welfare, social inequality, social policy and labour market policy. SOFI has six Professorships in economics, sociology and social policy, 15 post-doctoral researchers, around 30 doctoral students, and a support staff of five persons. Research at SOFI is organised within three research divisions: labour economics, level of living and social policy.

Research programme

Research in labour economics focus on income and wage formation, labour market training, unemployment, and family change. The level-of-living project is centred around issues of social inequality, educational inequality and social mobility, working conditions, gender inequality, family and work, and change in living conditions. One of the bases of the project is the collection of the so called level-of-living surveys (conducted in 1968, 1974, 1981, 1991, and 2000), which is a longitudinal nationally representative survey of around 5.000 respondents each wave. Questions concern living conditions at large, such as employment, wage and working conditions, health, education, family, political resources, childhood conditions; information which is combined with register data on income, mortality, etc. The social policy project deals with questions of comparative social policy, social marginalization, and unemployment. Within the Social Citizenship Indicators Project (SCIP), a data-set on social policy change in 18 OECD-countries is under construction, covering the time-period from 1930 and onwards. In the unemployment project, survey interviews with unemployed are carried out, following the structure of the level-of-living surveys.

Research focused on unemployment and social marginalization has established a data base, the Longitudinal Survey of the Unemployed (LSU), which covers a wealth of welfare components. This is a panel survey dating back to 1992, with follow-up interviews conducted in 1993 and 2001. The sample is a representative sample of the Nordic citizens between the ages of 25 and 55 who in the beginning of 1992 were registered as unemployed at the employment agencies with the sample size being approximately 800 individuals. The survey includes information on health, housing, family and social relations, education, employment and working conditions, financial resources, security to life and property, political resource as well as leisure and recreation. I addition to the LSU-data base a comprehensive cohort study of Swedes born in 1953 and followed up to 2002 is a major source for our research on social marginalization.