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Projects (Working Life)

Union agreements, wage growth and wage dispersion

Schedule: Januar 2017-mai 2018
Employer: Arbeids- og inkluderingsdepartementet

Project Aim

This project will study how different bargaining regimes and union agreements affect wage growth and wage dispersion.

Project Approach

The project surveys the existing literature on bargaining regimes and the relationship to wage growth and wage dispersion. Furthermore, we will describe the development of bargaining regimes and union treaties and the changes in the distribution of union wage premium centrally and locally in Norway, as well as describe empirically the wage growth and wage dispersion in Norway.

Finally, the project will provide a quantitative analysis of how the different bargaining regimes and union agreements and the associated premiums contributes to wage growth and wage dispersion, within and between workplaces and for different worker groups.

Women with immigrant background in the labour market

Schedule: February 2015-september 2015
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project Background

Women with immigrant background face several challenges in the transition to the labor market. It is therefore important to gather knowledge about the factors that constrain or promote their labor market participation.

This report focuses on existing research from Norway and the Nordic region and looks at the measures and efforts to include women with immigrant background in the labor market. Furthermore the report analyzes whether the existing efforts and measures work. The report concludes by presenting several recommendations for further research.

Further information:

Researchers: Julia Orupabo, Ida Drange

Between Income Maintenance and Activation: the legitimacy, implementation and outcomes of social security policies (TREfF-2)

Schedule: April 2016-march 2019
Employer: Norges forskningsråd


Treff-2 is a strategic project (ISP) aiming to develop and to stimulate a solid environment for social security research in Norway. The project is based on research conducted in the Treff-project (ISP 2010-2015). Its basic tenet is that in modern welfare states there is a tension between the concerns related to income security provision and those related to incentives and activation.

The balance between these concerns is disturbed by new political impulses and external demographic and economic shocks. The Norwegian welfare state has experienced both: international impulses and political trends are towards more activation, often in the form of sanctions and conditionality, while the oil price plummets, unemployment rises and Norway experiences record-high inflow of asylum seekers. In such an environment, the social security policy will have to be adapted.

Project Module A

Treff-2 comprises two major research modules; Module A is on politics and legitimacy, i.e., studies of polical support and motivation for changes and the relationship between public opinion and politics.

Project Module B

Module B is on implementation and outcomes, i.e., studies of how politics affect case-workers practice and the clients’ responses to these practices. Both projects employ qualitative and quantitative data, based on surveys and administrative registers. Both modules also explicitly endorse comparative dimensions.

Project Organization

Treff-2 is a collaboration between Institute for Social Research (ISF) and Center for the Study of Professions (SPS) at the Oslo and Akershus College of Applied Sciences. I addition the project involves collaboration with different departments and centres at the University in Oslo, such as Department of Economics, ESOP, Department of Political Science and Department of Sociology.

See also:

Researchers: Anne Skevik Grødem, Lars Inge Terum, Harald Dale-Olsen, Erling Barth, Gaute Torsvik, Andreas Eriksen, Talieh Sadeghi, Staffan Kumlin, Anders Molander, Henning Finseraas, Axel West Pedersen, Susana Vilhena, Pål Schøne, Øystein Marianssønn Hernæs, Inés Hardoy, Aksel Hatland, Kalle Moene, Anniken Hagelund,

Researchers’ wage trajectories in the Norwegian labor market, 2004-2014

Schedule: September 2016-March 2017
Employer: Forskerforbundet

The Institute for Social Research (ISF) will conduct an analysis of researchers’ wage trajectories in the Norwegian labor market.

The analysis will extend a previous ISF report, Forskning eller høy lønn? Lønnsutviklingen for norske forskere, 1997-2003, by extending this work to the 2004-2014 period.

Temporary employment and groups with a weak attachment to the labour market

Schedule: July 2016-Desember 2017
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet

The purpose of the project is to map, analyze and find effects of temporary employment, with a special focus on whether the new general access to employ temporary workers from July 1. 2015 has given better job opportunities for groups with a weak attachment to the labour market.

We will map the extent and analyze the effects of temporary employment for individuals.

Further, we will investigate what characterizes firms who employ temporary workers and whether this has changed with the change in regulation. 

1+1 project

Schedule: 2016-2020
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

The purpose of the «1+1 project» is to investigate what happens to students’ abilities in mathematics if an additional teacher is used to providing them with small group instruction in mathematics. The project is aimed at students in lower elementary school.

The project will take place in ten large municipalities, geographically spread across the country. The participating municipalities are: Asker, Bærum, Bodø, Drammen, Sandefjord, Sarpsborg, Stavanger, Trondheim, Tromsø and Ålesund. All together the project includes 160 schools from the participating municipalities.

To investigate whether small group instruction in mathematics improves students’ abilities in mathematics, a randomized controlled trial will be carried out where the schools are separated into two groups of equal size – a treatment group and a comparison group. The schools in the treatment group will receive resources to hire an additional teacher, qualified to teach mathematics, while the schools in the comparison group continue as before. It is important that the schools are randomly assigned to the two groups so that the additional teacher is the only difference between the two groups.

By comparing students’ ability in mathematics at the beginning and end of each school year, we will be able to investigate the effect of small group instruction in mathematics on student’ learning. The project will continue for four school years (2016-2020) and will provide new knowledge on the effect of increasing teacher density in a Norwegian context.

See also:

The 1+1 project webpage

Education to work transitions: the role of work capacity, skills and health

Schedule: 2015-2019
Employer: Forskningsrådet

The potentially long lasting harmful consequences of unemployment and inactivity early in life, both for those affected by it and to the environment, are well documented. Youth in Europe have been particularly affected by the recent economic crisis (OECD 2010). Young people with reduced working capacity are particularly vulnerable. Youth unemployment and NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) indicators are part of the new Scoreboard of key employment and social indicators which identify the major employment and social imbalances within the EU. Reducing school drop-out, enhancing labour market participation among those receiving disability benefits and encouraging labour market attachment among low skilled youth are three of twelve main skills challenges for Norway according to OECD Skills Strategy Diagnostic Report for Norway (2014). In this project we aim to investigate these concerns.

Key questions in the project are: How does the transition between education and employment vary with physical and psychological health problems? How important is health and skills for explaining the relationship between not completing secondary school and later outcomes? Are young people in secondary school dropping out “too soon”, or is it beneficial for some to drop out when business cycles are favourable? How serious is it for later outcomes to be NEET at a young age, and how do outcomes vary with late completion of upper secondary school versus other training or work related experiences? Does the “Youth guarantee” for those with reduced work capacity help in the transition to education or work?

Social background, educational, vocational and benefit careers to persons with reduced working

Schedule: 2015-2017
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet

The project has two main purposes. The first goal is to identify factors that may help to explain why some people are registered with reduced work ability, as well as identifying potential factors as well as success factors later in life. The second is to examine differences in the prediction value of different data sources. We will examine how far we can get using variables available in the administrative registers data for predicting the probability of being registered with reduced work capacity and how they fare in the recent labor market. We distinguish between data from NAV and data from other administrative sources typically provided by SSB. We will examine the differences in explanatory power between the various registers.

People with reduced work capacity is a very heterogeneous group. We focus on younger people, aged 18 to 29 years old, who are registered with reduced working capacity. This group is particularly interesting for several reasons: 1) circumstances and opportunities in the labor market varies enormously with age so that the data sources may have a lot to say for the predictions; 2) the importance of high quality and effective efforts targeted at youth is high on the political agenda in all countries, and 3) social and economic exclusion early in life predicts exclusion in adult age. By increasing the understanding of what determines who is registered with reduced work capacity at a relative young age, we will also help to increase the understanding of what can reduce exclusion amongst older people.

Researchers: Inés Hardoy, Sara Cools

Gender differences in occupational- and sectoral labour mobility in Norway

Schedule: 2015-2017
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet



Project Purpose

The purpose of the project is to examine the degree of gender segregation in the Norwegian labour market since the beginning of the 1990s. 

Project Approach

The project is fourfold: First, to map and examine trends in labour mobility between occupations, industries and sectors, and to identify occupations and educations with high turnover.

Secondly, to quantify and get insight into the contribution from i) changes in labour demand and ii) labour supply.

Thirdly, the project will shed light on trends in gender segregations over the lifecycle.

Fourth, map and systematize scientific research in Europe, focusing on the Nordic countries.

In addition we will perform comparative empirical analysis on the labour mobility patterns in Europe.  The main contribution of this project is to measure developments in gender segregation in the labour market and in the educational sector, over a long period of time. To our knowledge, the latter exercise for the first time.

Governing and Experiencing Citizenship in Multicultural Scandinavia

Schedule: 2015-2019
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

What are the relationships between policies and laws on citizenship and experiences of belonging, recognition and sense of community? The Governing and Experiencing Citizenship in Multicultural Scandinavia (GOVCIT) project will shed new light on relationships between citizenship and integration.

We do this through studying top-down policies and bottom-up lived experiences. The Scandinavian countries have undergone major cultural and social changes due to migration. Considering the homogeneity of the region, the

discrepancy in current citizenship regulation is remarkable. Requirements for citizenship acquisition differ: Norway is positioned in between liberal Sweden and restrictive Denmark. But both Sweden and Denmark permit dual citizenship, while Norway does not. Citizenship in Scandinavia has become eroded, as most substantial rights are attached to permanent residency, not to citizenship. Social cohesion at community level is an explicit aim for citizenship policy.

These macro-level paradoxes inform our study. We will learn more about these through document analysis and interviews with politicians and civil servants. At the individual level we recognize that identity cannot be legislated. Lived experiences are affected not by the letter of the law, but by practices, interpretations and negotiations. We are interested in the experiences of immigrants and descendants, as citizens or prospective citizens, which we will learn about through a Scandinavian survey. In Norway we also use ethnographic methods to capture lived experiences of people living in a diverse society. We are interested in the lived experiences of people both with and without an immigrant background, living in urban areas with diverse populations, and in scarcely populated areas far away from Oslo. 

Belonging, community and integration are key issues in ongoing public debates, to which the GOVICT project will contribute through a focus on the interface of governing and experiencing citizenship.

The project is headed by PRIO, in cooperation with Institute for Social Research, Department of Sociology and Human Geography at The University of Oslo, Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM) and Department of Political Science at Aarhus University.

More information about the project is available at PRIO’s web pages:  

Researchers: Marta Bivand Erdal, Arnfinn H. Midtbøen, Grete Brochmann, Pieter Bevelander, Per Mouritsen

Pathways to Integration: The Second Generation in Education and Work in Norway

Schedule: 2015-2018
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project Aim

What pathways to integration characterise the transition from education to work among descendants of immigrants in Norway? Are they socially isolated and incorporated into marginalized sectors of the economy? Or are their achievements in education translated into relevant work and prominent positions in social life, contributing to a ‘remaking’ of mainstream society, in which ethnic background will play a less significant role in determining individual life chances in the future?

In this project, an interdisciplinary team of sociologists, economists and anthropologists will use both quantitative and qualitative data to explore the dynamics of generational change, focusing on the pathways to integration experienced by male and female descendants of immigrants in Norway.

Project Approach

The project has four closely related subprojects. First, we will investigate whether the immigrant parents’ success or failure in the Norwegian labour market affect the labour market integration of the second generation.

Second, we will study the extent to which descendants of immigrants’ efforts in the educational sector is transferred into relevant work, and how family obligations and transnational marriages affect employment patterns of second generation men and women.

Third, we will explore whether an elite of descendants of immigrants is in the making, by conducting comprehensive qualitative case studies among students in medicine, law and economics, as well as among lawyers, doctors and economists that have managed to gain positions in the labour market. Fourth, we will study descendants of immigrants enrolled in vocational education, following 1) those who invest in more education, 2) those who end up working in vocational professions, and 3) those who are tracked into less privileged positions or even into permanent positions outside the labour market. The project will provide new and highly policy-relevant knowledge about the processes of integration and ultimately on the long-term effects of migration on the Norwegian society.

The third subproject is part of an ongoing, comparative study of elite formation among descendants of immigrants in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and the US. This project, ELITES: Pathways to Success, is led by Professor Maurice Crul at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Professor Crul is also part of the Norwegian project’s international advisory board, along with Professor Richard Alba from the Graduate Centre at the City University of New York and Dr. Katharine Charsley from the University of Bristol.

Further information:

Family policies: Fathers’ quota, sharing of parental leave among mothers and fathers and cash-for-childcare.

Schedule: 2015-2016
Employer: Barne-, likestillings- og inkluderingsdepartementet

Project Purpose

The purpose of the project was to review existing research on paternity leave, effects of mothers' and fathers’ sharing of parental leave and the use of cash-for-childcare. Every year a large amount of money is transferred to parents of young children through these schemes. The design of the schemes affects parents' adaptation at the intersection of labour force participation and childcare.

Project Results

The Ministry for Children, Equality and Social Inclusion wanted a review of existing research on family policy transmission schemes. The project has reviewed the existing research on the impacts of the various family policy schemes and assessed the strengths and limitations of research from Norway and other Nordic countries, published in 2010-2015. Knowledge gaps and unanswered research questions were also identified. 

Explaining social patterns in sicknes absence: the influence of values, attitudes and norms

Schedule: 2015-2017
Employer: NFR via Nova

Reducing sickness absence (SA), in particular long-term SA, is high on the political agenda, and by extension, finding the causes or mechanisms that lead to SA. Working conditions, family situation, and health status are core determinants of SA. However, findings on the effects of different factors are far from conclusive. There remains a large "unexplained" element for SA. Despite recognition in the scientific literature that values, attitudes and norms likely contribute to variations in SA, empirical research on this topic is still relatively scarce. The project aims to fill this knowledge gap by studying the influence of values, attitudes and norms on SA, more particularly, their role in creating social patterns in SA. The project will utilize large-scale longitudinal survey data in combination with longitudinal register data, enabling us to apply a multidimensional and dynamic approach to the study of the interaction between values and attitudes with health, work and family factors in relation to SA in different social groups. The project is also innovative in that we will conduct a vignette study among employees and employers with a survey experiment that will help us to analyze potential differences in norms concerning men and women's use of SA.

Key research questions will be 1) to what extent attitudes towards SA vary across gender, age, socioeconomic position and place of residence, 2) which individual attitudes and values predict subsequent SA and to what extent this impact differs across social groups, 3) to what extent values and attitudes can help explain differences in the use of SA across social groups, alongside other explanatory variables such as health status, work situation and family situation 4) to what extent individuals' values and attitudes moderate the relationship between health status, work situation and family situation, and SA, and 5) to what extent we find different norms for the use of SA for men and for women.

Researchers: Harald Dale-Olsen, Tale Hellevik, Marijke Veenstra, Niklas Jacobsson, Kjersti Misje Østbakken, Arne Mastekaasa

Changing familes and the gender revolution (FAMGEN)

Schedule: 2015-2018
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet

The point of departure for the project is three profound changes sweeping across modern societies: women surpassing men in higher education, growing female labour force participation and more involved men in the family. This gender revolution influences the family formation process and is moving at different paces across countries, which calls for comparative research on the interplay between gender roles and the family formation process.

The project has a strong international profile and we apply an analytical approach where the family formation process involves different components: (A) union formation, (B) couple specialization, and (C) childbearing. This novel approach takes into account that the family formation process contains several components that influence each other: who enters unions and who partner with whom influence couple specialization and the relative economic position of men and women, which in turn influence childbearing, which may very well in return influence couple specialization. Union formation patterns are also expected to influence childbearing directly. We argue that it is necessary to include the union formation process in analyses of couple specialization and childbearing because it determines the socioeconomic correlates of selection into unions, as well as how socioeconomic characteristics affect choice of union.  While several theoretical frameworks have been developed to understand the interplay of new gender roles and family behaviour at the societal level, there is need for more theories to better understand the mechanisms at the individual level.

Register data will be used for the in-depth analyses of Norway, while survey data will be used for the comparative analyses.

Researchers: Ragni Hege Kitterød, Rannveig Vittersø Kaldager, Trude Lappegård, Kenneth Aarskaug Wiik, Lars Dommermuth, Rønsen Marit

A comparative analysis of the impact of efforts to improve the labour market prospects of youth with weak labour market attachment in The Nordic cou...

Schedule: 2014-2016
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet


Illustration photo:


Project Background

A main ambition of labour market programs is that young people with impaired work capacity and weak labour market attachment are given the opportunity to get a foothold in the labour market. Research shows that periods outside employment or education at a young age can have long-term consequences.

Project Purpose

The purpose of this project was to map and systematize scientific research in the Nordic countries dealing with the effects of measures intended to insert/maintain vulnerable young people into the labour market. Our target group is young people between 15 and 30 years.

In the comparative analysis we include Germany, the UK and the Netherlands in addition to the five Nordic countries. These are countries that are similar to a greater or lesser extent in terms of culture, history, institutions and labour market functioning. Similarities, and contrasts between measures, countries and over time can contribute to a better understanding of their impact across the region.

Based on the literature collected we construct a data set which is in turn used to carry out a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is a statistical tool used to summarize many different and sometimes contradictory results and is intended to provide more solid evidence of what is reliable, durable and robust research results relative to what can be obtained from individual studies.

Project Results

All in all, the meta-analysis comprises approximately 425 effect estimates from 44 different research projects. Our conclusions confirm that training and wage subsidies give rise to more positive effect than work practice and public employment measures. It is also worth noting that the estimates tend to be more positive over time, which may indicate that a learning process occurs such that the measures are gradually becoming more efficient.

However, there is a large variation in the reported estimates, from clearly positive to definitely negative, which may indicate that there is indeed a significant variation in how well programs work for the target group they are designed for. In other words, there is no silver bullet. What is clear is that there are numerous examples of measures that seem to have had a positive impact, and that properly designed measures have the potential to help young people into work or further education.

Researchers: Inés Hardoy, Kristine von Simson (i permisjon), Tao Zhang, Knut Røed, Caroline Hall, Brian Krogh Graversen

European Strains

Schedule: 2013-2018
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project Information

This project aims to understand:

  • The current crisis in Europe and its institutional responses, stressing the interaction between politics, economic development, and social change
  • The European migration, mobility, and economic growth in the light of national identities, and social and economic strains
  • The economic and political feasibility of the European Social Model emphasizing how temporary shocks may create permanent institutional changes once we incorporate economic, social, and political relations

Further information:

Researchers: Erling Barth, Marianne Røed, Pål Schøne, Henning Finseraas, Jan-Paul Brekke, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Simon Hix, Scott Gates, Halvor Mehlum, Steinar Holden

Gender Segregation in the Labour Market

Schedule: 2014-2018
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project background

This research project will investigate the ways in which women and men are unequally placed in the labour market. We will study the mechanisms that contribute to different educational choices among boys and girls, and what happens in the transition from education to work. Once men and women have entered the labour market, there are processes at play that contribute further to gender gaps in career development and wages. We will study how different welfare state arrangements affect these developments through comparing Norway with other countries.

Project structure

The research project consists of four main parts.

1) International comparisons across several countries, in order to investigate how different institutional contexts affect the extent to which men and women are  unequally distributed in the labour market.

2) Comparisons of female career patterns in the United States and Norway, with particular focus on access to top positions, recruitment policies and decision making within the household.

3) Boys' and girls' educational choices and performance, attitudes towards female- or male typical study programs, and consequences for labour market entry in Norway.

4) Mechanisms that channel men and women into different positions within the Norwegian labour market over the life course.

We will be using different kinds of data sources. Some questions will be answered by using available large scale survey data, some by using data from Norwegian public registries that follow the population over many years, and some by collecting new data through case studies and questionnaires.

The project team consists of researchers from the Institute for Social Research in collaboration with the University of Oslo and the Oslo and Akershus College of Applied Sciences. For the international comparisons we will collaborate with researchers at Boston University, Wellesley College, UC San Diego and the University of Basel.

Further project information and list of publications can be found in Prosjektbanken.

This project is connected to CORE - Center for Research on Gender Equality.

Further information (in Norwegian):

Researchers: Liza Reisel, Pål Schøne, Erling Barth, Mari Teigen, Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Inés Hardoy, Kjersti Misje Østbakken, Sigtona Halrynjo, Ragni Hege Kitterød, Kristinn Hegna, Christian Imdorf, Mary Blair-Loy, Claudia Olivetti, Sari Pekkala Kerr

Understanding the gender gap in sickness absence

Schedule: 2013-2016
Employer: NFR

In this project, we investigate three possible mechanisms behind the gender gap in sickness absence in Norway; (1) The importance of having children, (2) Investments in health and (3) Statistical discrimination.

            The first part of the project will give an overview of patterns in sickness absence over the lifecycle with an emphasis on the importance of having children in the family. We will also use instrumental variables methods to evaluate the causal impact of children on sickness absence.

            The second part of the project investigates the apparent paradox that women have higher sickness absence rates, but live longer than men. A possible explanation may be that women to a larger degree and at an earlier stage visit a doctor or in other ways take better care of their health. Another explanation is that there are biological differences between men and women in type of illness and how fast they recover. We wish to investigate the importance of differences in behavior by comparing behavior after illnesses that biologically affects men and women in the same way.

            The third part of the project investigates whether high female absence rates overall makes the threshold to be absent lower for the individual woman. One reason for this is that the employer may expect the woman to have higher sickness absence than a man, so that sickness absence will not serve as the same negative signal to the employer for women. The (career-) cost of staying home when ill can therefore be lower for women.

Researchers: Marte Strøm

Voluntary work as training ground for the labor market

Schedule: 2013-2015
Employer: Norges Røde Kors med midler fra Nav

Red Cross Norway, has initiated various voluntary activities the purpose of which is to help immigrant women and disabled persons to acquire qualifications and experiences which may help them enter the ordinary labour market.  One of these activities is a small café located in a center for immigrant women organized by Red Cross, Oslo. In this café women work voluntary some hours each work and learn about the operation of a café. Another activity is a mentor system where selected immigrant women are coached through one year by experienced female managers. A third activity is an arrangement at Red Cross, Tromsø, where disabled persons work voluntary in the Red Cross organization, but financed by NAV. 

In the research project these activities are followed through two years and their effects are discussed.   

Researchers: Trygve Gulbrandsen, Anders Mathisen

Striving for excellence, learning to cope?- Employer strategies for managing sick leaves and emplyee health over the decades.

Schedule: 2013--2016
Employer: NFR

The primary goal of our project is to providing an understanding of employers’ strategies for managing sick leaves and employee health have changed over the decades, and how these changes have affected workers’ sick leaves and withdrawal from the labour market. Our secondary objectives, which will play a part in achieving our primary objective, are analyses of: i)changing sick pay schemes and work environment, ii) the potential conflict between graded (partial) sick leaves and work structure, iii) the early retirement legislation and the relation to sick leaves and disability recipiency, iv)strategies for managing workers who are long-term ill or have permanently impaired health, v) the sorting of workers on health and job polarisation, and finally, vi) how social interaction at the workplace and in the neighbourhood changes over time, with respect to sickness absence and withdrawal from work.

Sub-project 1 analyses how changes in the private sick leave payment schemes have influenced the sick leave pattern of employees. Sub-project 2 uses an employer’s opinion on how easy a graded sick leave can be incorporated at work to achieve variation in the utilization of graded sick leaves, thus to evaluate how successful the use of graded sick leaves can be in achieving quicker return to permanent job and to reducing the probability of withdrawal from work. Sub-project 3 analyses the extent the pension reform of 2011 has influenced sick leaves and the probability of early retirement. Sub-project 4 analyses employers’ (changing) strategies for managing workers who are long-term ill or have permanently impaired health. Sub-project 5 analyses employers’ recruitment strategies and how these have changed over time, with specific attention to the sorting and polarization of workers depending on health. Sub-project 6 analyses social interaction in sick leaves and withdrawal from work at the workplace and in the neighbourhood, and whether these different kinds of social interaction have changed over the decades.

The project is partly comparative, since parts of the analyses are based on a comparison between Norway and the UK.

The project utilizes Norwegian register data on the complete populations of workers, workplaces and firms during the period 1995-2013. In addition, we exploits employer questionnaire survey data on work organization, pay regimes, HRM-practices from 1997, 2003 and 2012 (NWERS1997, NWERS2003, and NWERS2012), which when linked to the register data on individuals and workplaces will give us panel information on establishments and workers over 16 years.

Researchers: Harald Dale-Olsen, Bernt Magne Bratsberg, Tove Midtsundstad, Arne Mastekaasa, Alex Bryson, Anna Aasen Godøy

CORE - Centre for Research on Gender Equality

Schedule: 2013-
Employer: Barne-, likestillings- og inkluderingsdepartementet


CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality, at Institute for Social Research, conducts interdisciplinary research on gender equality, with particular emphasis on working life. The research centre aims to produce research of both high academic quality, and social and political relevance.

CORE was established in 2013 and is funded by the Ministry of Children and Equality. Mari Teigen is Research Director at CORE.

Visit the webpage for CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality for more information.

Educational Trajectories:Choices,Constraints and Contexts

Schedule: 2013-2016
Employer: NFR

The aim of this project is to contribute to a better understanding of trajectory patterns in the educational system and their determinants. Analyses of individual developments and outcomes will be undertaken for pupils at different levels in the educational system as well as in the transition periods from school to work. Important questions in this respect are: Does place of residence affect patterns of educational program choice? How do gender differences in educational trajectories amplify, shrink or interact with other forms of inequalities such as ethnicity and social class? Is ethnic school segregation negative for student performance? Does the ethnic school composition affect the performance of native origin pupils? Does health during childhood and adolescence influence educational outcomes such as grades and completion? Is health a mediating factor between family resources and educational outcomes?

Researchers: Inés Hardoy, Idunn Brekke, Liza Reisel, Paul Attewell, Sharon R Sznitman, Pål Schøne, Sara Cools

Convergence or segregation?

Schedule: 2012 -2015

The goal of the project is to increase the understanding of how economic
differences between regions influence labor flows and how labor flows
contribute to convergence and/or divergence between regions as well as
improve individual outcomes. 

Further we want to analyse how mobility
contributes to economic growth, and to study how local labor
markets/economic regions respond to labor demand shocks. Empirical
analyses will be undertaken using register data.

The Educational system in Norway

Schedule: 2010-2013
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Education serves many goals and the performance of the educational system may be measured in multiple ways. Test scores, international rankings, effects on health, crime and well-being, individual returns to education, measures of inequality as well as the cost effectiveness of the educational system all provide possible measures of success or failure of the educational system.

The objective of this project is to focus on one important arena, by putting the educational system to the test provided by the labour market. Studies of individual outcomes will be undertaken for different levels of the educational system, covering the spectre from dropouts from secondary level to the top performing university level students, and will deal with both supply and demand side questions.

The interaction between the labour market and the educational system will furthermore be analysed with a focus on two outstanding features of the current Nordic economies; the impact of recent labour migration on educational choices and outcomes, and the impact of a compressed wage structure on the dimensioning of higher education.

Key questions are:

  • How important are characteristics of pupils and schools to explain dropouts from upper secondary school?
  • How important was the reform from 1994 to explain the pattern of dropouts?
  • What are the long term consequences for individuals dropping out of secondary school?
  • How do the labour market careers of dropouts in Norway compare with the labour market careers of dropouts in Finland?
  • How are the top students - the superstars – received, allocated and evaluated in the labour market?
  • What is the relationship between inflow of labour immigrants and investments in education in the host country?
  • How is it that the Nordic countries can have low wage premiums for education, and still have high and rising educational attainment?

To answer these questions we have put together a project team that together has first-rate research skills from studies of human capital, the youth labour market, immigrants in the labour market, institutions and economic performance, and extensive experience from conducting evaluation research.

Our approach is quantitative, and we will make use of Norwegian register data, provided by Statistics Norway, to link educational outcomes to labour market outcomes.

The project has an international comparative component, and includes active participation from Professor Kalle Moene at the ESOP-centre at the University of Oslo (Centre of Equality, Social Organization, and Performance ESOP), Professor Richard Freeman at Harvard University and the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Research Director Rita Asplund from ETLA (The research Institute for the Finnish economy), Helsinki in cooperation with our team from the Institute for Social Research, Oslo.

Researchers: Erling Barth, Pål Schøne, Inés Hardoy, Marianne Røed, Idunn Brekke, Rita Asplund, Richard Freeman, Liza Reisel

Multidimensional equality - Legislative reforms and judicial practices

Schedule: 2009-2013
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Nordisk likestillingspolitikk er inne i en større omlegging. Det innebærer en endring fra et dominerende endimensjonalt rammeverk, basert på kjønnslikestilling, til en flerdimensjonal likestillingspolitikk. Det felles grunnlaget for disse store endringsprosessene er forståelser av flerfoldige diskrimineringsgrunnlag, altså at anti-diskrimineringslovgivningen og håndheving utgjør sentrale politiske styringsverktøy for å fremme likhet.

Prosjektet tar sikte på å framskaffe kunnskap om variasjon og endring i Nordisk likestillingslovgivning, samt å studere disse endringer i lys av hvordan initiativ for å fremme mangfold og forhindre diskriminering på flere grunnlag er debattert, fortolket, begrunnet og problematisert av politiske partier og sivilsamfunnsaktører i Norge, Sverige og Danmark. Sentrale forskningsspørsmål som vil bli belyst er:

  • Er bekjempelse av diskriminering innenfor rammene av en interseksjonell tilnærming vektlagt som et viktig motiv bak juridiske reformer og endring?
  • Hva innebærer en interseksjonell tilnærming for etablerte kjønnslikestillingsparadigmer?
  • Hvordan håndteres utfordringene fra multippel diskriminering og interseksjonalitet i praksis av håndhevingsorganer?
  • Hvilke roller spiller og hvilke posisjoner inntar sivilsamfunnsaktører og organisasjoner i utviklingen av disse juridiske reformene?
  • Utvikles reformene innenfor et rammeverk av gjensidig forståelse eller av konkurrerende interesser?

Disse spørsmålene vil danne utgangspunkt for tre tett sammenkoblete empiriske studier om variasjon og endring i nordisk likestillingslovgivning; om likestillingsparadigmer i de politiske prosessene som ligger til grunn for juridisk reform; og om flerdimensjonalitet og interseksjonalitet i juridisk praksis.


Researchers: Mari Teigen, Liza Reisel, Sigtona Halrynjo, Merel Jonker

Søkelys på arbeidslivet

Schedule: 2001-2016
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet, Norges forskningsråd

Søkelys på arbeidslivet (Norwegian Journal of Working Life Studies) is an open access scholarly journal.

The journal is owned by the Institute for Social Research and receives a grant from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Søkelys på arbeidslivet is published three times per year (one double and two single issues) and promotes research on working life in Norway and the Nordic countries.

As of 2016, Søkelys på arbeidslivet is published open access. 

Target groups

It is a scientific journal aimed at researchers, planners, executives and decision makers in business, management and labor market partners.


Important topics are working-life related issues, such as employment, wages, working conditions, education, and the relation between work and family life.

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