Inequalities, Insurance, Incentives and Immigration: Challenges and Solutions for the Welfare State (4Is)


This research project examines how recent challenges, such as increased economic uncertainty and ethnic diversity, have affected inequality and support for the welfare state in European countries. It also investigates the work incentives embedded in the existing tax- and benefit systems and how these affect individuals? behaviour, both in the short and in the long run. This information is a crucial input to governments? decisions on how to finance the welfare system and redistribute income while maintaining incentives to work and avoiding poverty traps.

The project is divided into three strands. We first measure inequality developments using multidimensional and lifetime perspectives, and assess how different EU tax and benefit systems reduce economic vulnerability. Second, we investigate support for redistribution, asking how ethnic diversity affects people?s support for the welfare state and, using methods from experimental psychology, examining the determinants of redistributive attitudes for different groups. Third, we investigate the work incentives embedded in the existing tax and benefit systems and how these affect individuals? behaviour, both in the short and in the long run, taking into account issues like the complexity of the tax design.

The research will produce academically meritorious publications and highly policy relevant guidance on reforms to the redistributive side of the welfare state. The research will use comparative micro data across European countries and detailed register data from individual countries. The project unites economists, political scientists, sociologists and psychologists with extensive experience advising governments and the EC on policy design.



Scientific article

  • O Erixson, D Waldenström, M Elinder(2018): Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers Journal of Public Economics pp. 17 - 30

Publications for the general public

  • M Dahlberg, H Lundqvist, H Andersson(2015): Migrating Natives and Foreign Immigration
  • M Elinder, O Erixson, D Waldenström(2015): Inheritance and wealth inequality
  • H Selin, S Bastani(2015): Estimating Participation Responses Using Transfer Program Reform
  • J-P Laamanen, K Kotakorp(2016): Prefilled income tax returns and tax compliance: Evidence from a natural experiment
  • S Avram, M Brewer, A Salvatori(2016): Can’t Work or Won’t Work: Quasi-Experimental Evidence on Work Search Requirements for Single Parents


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. E. Mörk

Affiliated with

Uppsala University, Department of Economics

Team members

K. Gunnarsson, Dr. S. Hochguertel, H. Lundqvist PhD, L. Martén PhD, A. Stefansson


01/10/2014 to 06/02/2019