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At any one time, ISER is involved in a wide range of cutting edge social and economic research across many disciplines. Completed projects

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The impacts of Universal Free School Meals in England

Investigating the impact of Universal Free School Meal (UFSM) programmes run in several local authorities in England since 2004 on children’s educational attainment, absences and bodyweight.

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Evaluation of the health impacts of Universal Credit: a mixed methods study

A project focusing on a mixed methods study comprising five closely related work packages (WPs) to answer the question: what is the impact of the introduction of UC on mental health and wellbeing, what are the implications for health inequalities, and how these effects are moderated by variation in implementation across Great Britain?

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COhort cOmmunity Research and Development Infrastructure Network for Access Throughout Europe - COORDINATE

COORDINATE is the next phase of the GUIDE project funded by the Horizon 2020 programme in recognition that policymakers across Europe are currently unable to draw upon consistent, comparable and high quality data on child wellbeing to inform policy.

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The gender gap in pay progression: job mobility and job ladders

Examining factors which drive the observed gender gap in pay progression: the role of employer wage-setting power and gender differences in job-to-job mobility patterns.

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Understanding the impacts of income and welfare policy responses to COVID-19 on inequalities in mental health: A microsimulation model

A study that will develop a new mathematical model which will simulate the potential impact of the economic changes on mental health of the British population.

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Assessing the role of tax-benefit policies in mitigating the distributional effects of COVID-19 in the Andean region

The overall aim of the project is to assess the role of tax and benefit policies in mitigating the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty and inequality in three countries in the Andean region: Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

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Extension of the EUROMOD-ITT tool

This new project aims to adapt and improve the indirect tax handling of EUROMOD further, by making use of the EUROSTAT HBS data for all countries of the European Union for which no considerate data issues exist.

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Improvement of EUROMOD Advanced Statistics Calculator

Expanding the scope of the results provided by the current EUROMOD Statistic Presenter, allowing more comprehensive and flexible policy analyses.

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Research into Covid-19 and financial hardship in London

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted many Londoners’ incomes as well as outgoings. Where prior to the crisis financial hardship in London had largely been characterised by low pay and in-work poverty, unprecedented economic conditions have meant more and more people have become unemployed.

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Assessing the economic and social impact of COVID-19 in Ecuador

Investigating the distributional effects of COVID-19 in Ecuador and the role of tax–benefit policy interventions in mitigating the impact of the crisis during the first wave of the pandemic.

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Modelling labour supply with informality for the evaluation of tax-benefit reforms in Ecuador

The aim of the project is to develop a labour supply model for Ecuador enabling to take into account behavioural responses from ex-ante tax-benefit policy reform simulations.

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Mind the Gap: Educational Inequalities during Covid-19

Looking at the impact of Covid-related school closures on student achievements, inequalities in assessed exam grades and how confusion over A-level grading made a difference to university participation

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Covid-19 and school availability: impact on parental labour supply and wellbeing

Assessing the impact of school closures related to Covid-19 on employment and family wellbeing for parents, especially mothers


Digital Schools - COVID 19 schools survey

ISER is also seeking to understand how the current Covid-19 situation may be affecting students’ education – through a new research project called Digital Schools

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Simulating tax-benefit policies to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality in Mexico

Looking at ways to contribute to the development of tools to evaluate social policies aimed at reducing poverty and inequality in Mexico by means of a tax-benefit microsimulation model

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CHILMOD: simulating tax and benefit policies for Chile

Working alongside the Universidad de Chil and the Centre for Economics and Social Policy at the Universidad Mayor on building a tax-benefit microsimulation model, based on the EUROMOD platform, for Chile

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Investigating economic insecurity through microsimulation

Investigating economic insecurity over the life course by means of dynamic microsimulation modelling.

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Simulation tax policy reforms and fiscal gains in the Andean Region

Tax collection in the Andean region low compared with other countries in Latin America and with developed economies (OECD countries). The overall aim of the project is to assess the budgetary and distributional effects of tax policy reforms in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

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Tax and benefit microsimulation to tackle inequality in Colombia

Looking at ways to contribute to the use of tax-benefit microsimulation techniques in Colombia to improve evidence-based policy making in the country

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Event-triggered data collection

Developing new methods to collect data about life events throughout the year

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UKMOD: A new tax-benefit microsimulation model for the UK

Enhancing EUROMOD’s UK component to create a widely accessible, simplified, transparent and policy-relevant tax-benefit model.

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An investigation of the impact of the National Living Wage on earnings, with a focus on pay differentials

Investigating to what extent the recent hikes in the minimum wage have impacted on wage progression and pay differentials.


Understanding and improving data linkage consent in surveys

Maximising informed consent by investigating what influences the decision of survey respondents to allow their data to be linked to administrative records.

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BELMOD: adapting EUROMOD for the use of administrative data in Belgium

This new microsimulation tool will be used to design an evidence-based national reform plan aimed at furthering the automatization of social rights.

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European Cohort Development Project (ECDP)

Building a case for a European Research Infrastructure that will provide comparative longitudinal survey data on child and young adult well-being over the next 25 years.

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Impact of the Universal Free School Meal policy

Assessing the success of the Free School Meals policy in improving children’s educational achievement, social behaviour and health.


Inequality, early adult life courses and economic outcomes at mid-life in comparative context (EQUALLIVES)

A cross-country investigation into how education, labour market and family choices create inequality across the life-course.

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Integrating research infrastructure for European expertise on inclusive growth from data to policy (InGRID-2)

Follow-up to the successful InGRID project aiming to advance the integration and innovation of distributed social sciences research infrastructures on ‘poverty, living conditions and social policies’ as well as ‘working conditions, vulnerability and labour policies’

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Access to health care, health outcomes and hospital performance in Brazilian cities

Assessing the impact of recent innovations within Brazil’s national health system on mortality and hospitalization rates, and on the efficiency of the health system.

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Welfare dependence and poverty traps: evaluating the contribution of health shocks and health policy using administrative data

Investigating the extent to which public health provision enhances the capacity for social protection in Brazil.

Blood pressure

The impact of a personalised blood pressure warning on health behaviour

Assessing to what extent clinical information on an individual’s health status could influence their behaviours.

Age poverty

Developing a longitudinal study of indebtedness

Charting people’s experience of debt and utilisation of debt advice.

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Risk aversion, earnings uncertainty and labour supply

Examining the relationship between the growth in insecure and unstable forms of employment and peoples’ behaviour in relation to seeking and remaining in work.

Older fitness

Exploiting the existing biomarker data available in CLOSER: social position, age and allostatic load

Cataloguing the biomarker data available in the Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resource (CLOSER) and other significant longitudinal studies, to develop a gold standard for allostatic load measurement, while informing the scientific community of the availability of biomarkers for research in the social- biological agenda.


Investigating and reducing non-sampling errors on EU-SILC

Investigating the extent and nature of non-sampling errors and exploring ways of reducing such errors in the future.

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Respondent-targeted survey design features

Targeting design features to reduce survey costs and improve survey participation.


The prevalence and persistence of ethnic and racial harassment and its impact on health: a longitudinal analysis

Groundbreaking research into the prevalence and persistence of ethnic and racial harassment and its impact on health.

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Income and fertility: evidence from Norway in the last two centuries

Investigating how the timing of births varies across the business cycle.

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Understanding household finance through better measurement

Transforming our understanding of the dynamics of living standards.

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SOUTHMOD: simulating tax and benefit policies for development

New microsimulation models to explore the impacts of social protection and tax systems in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia

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Application of microsimulation models in the analysis of taxes and social benefits in Croatia (AMMATSBC)

Applying microsimulation models of Croatian taxes and benefits in public policy and academic analysis to demonstrate their effectiveness

Campus students

BOOST2018, the ground-breaking study of student life

BOOST2018 is a study undertaken by researchers at the University of Essex to better understand students’ life at university, the issues they may face in their daily life, their aspirations, expectations, attitudes, and their outcomes.

Health biomarkers

How can biomarkers and genetics improve our understanding of society and health?

A ground-breaking £1.4 million ESRC-funded study is gathering evidence to help policy makers understand how behaviours and socio-economic factors impact on the nation’s health

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Inequality in higher education outcomes in the UK: subjective expectations, preferences, and access to information

Higher education is a priority in UK government policy, but access to university is still unequal, with students from well-off families being more likely to apply for a degree


Information, expectations and transition to higher education

Examining which expectations and perceptions are held by students that may make them stay on in full-time post-compulsory schooling and apply to university.

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Income and poverty dynamics: measuring instability, volatility and persistence

Providing new evidence for Britain earnings instability and improving the measurement of household living standards

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