The core expertise of the research group Labor Market and Social Policy is the analysis of labour market policies and their interaction with wider contexts of social policy. Studies and research projects of the group are based primarily on empirical evidence, aiming both to enrich scientific debate and to provide a sound basis for high-quality and independent policy advice to public decision makers.
The group’s members have profound theoretical and empirical knowledge of the functioning of labour markets. The mode of research – theory-based empirical analysis – addresses, in the first instance, economic issues such as income/wages, unemployment, and structural changes in types of employment and in the composition of the supply of labour. Further analysis assesses the impacts of policy measures on individual behaviour, and additionally interprets the broader economic and social outcomes. Institutional knowledge in the group is extensive, in particular with regard to the Austrian and German labor markets. The expertise of the research group likewise is applied to the topic of retirement pensions and extends into other fields of social policy, for instance unemployment insurance. Research projects of the group have also addressed the determinants and impacts of demographic developments, including migration.
Besides a broad expertise in micro-data, a defining characteristic of the group in methodological terms is in microsimulation. Here, the group applies three IHS propriety simulation models, namely ILSA (concerns labour supply characteristics), IREA (pensions and retirement behaviour) and ITABENA (tax and benefits). These models are continually adapted, updated and improved according to the current requirements of research. Moreover, the group participates in the European tax and benefits model EUROMOD.