The University of Edinburgh -

Edinburgh 2007

Assignment documents

Assignment 1 (20/6/2007)

Caroline de la Porte

Methodologcial and theoretical indicators for assessing the OMC at national level

(please read the texts for lecture A and B in advance)

Assignment 2 (22/6/2007)

Jørgen Goul Andersen

OECD Jobs Study revisited

Please read in advance: OECD Employment Outlook; pages: 23-27, 47, 56-72, 80-100, 117-126, 158-169, 174-185, 190-194, 197-201.

Assignment 3 (25/6/2007)

Wim van Oorschot

Select the assignment you like most (below). Complete at least one from each category (A,B,C). Try to do as many as possible.

The assignments aim at international comparison. Regarding country selection we advice you to include: Sweden, France, UK, Italy, plus (if available in the data set) all the home countries of the students in your assignments group.

For micro-data analysis use the online data analysis facilities of the survey named in parentheses.

If no data-year is specified, then use the most recent wave.

A. Micro data

A.1 Present a table and a graph showing the % of people who are of the opinion that living in need is due to laziness and lack of willpower of the needy, by country, by gender (EVS)

A.2: Present tables showing the % of people who are of the opinion that in future there should be more emphasis on family life: table 1) by country, by gender, table 2) by country, by age (EVS)

A.3: Present a table or graph showing the % of people who are of the opinion that it is the responsibility of government to reduce income differences between the rich and the poor, by country, for the years 1985, 1990 and 1996 (start with 1996) (ISSP)

A.4: Present a correlation coefficient between people’s opinion on whether they feel that income differences are too large on the one hand, and their opinion on whether government should reduce such differences on the other (ISSP)

B. Macro data

B.1. Analyze the relationships between spending on families and pensions and life cycle based poverty

* Poverty:;

* Pensions:

B. 2. Analyze the associations between social spending and generosity of welfare entitlements. Select one policy area e.g:

* pensions:

* unemployment: or,2340,en_2825_497118_34053248_1_1_1_1,00.html

* sickness:

* social spending:,2340,en_2649_34635_31612994_1_1_1_1,00.html

B.3. Are there any relationships between political factors and social indicators as social spending, generosity of social policy, degree of poverty / inequality:

* politics:


C. Macro-micro data

C.1: Plot the selected countries’ social spending on pensions levels against their populations’ view on the question whether the government should spend more money on old age pensions, even if this leads to higher taxes, for the year 1996 (ISSP)

C.2: Plot the selected countries’ relative spending on family policies against people’s opinion on the question whether a pre-school child is likely to suffer when his or her mother is working (ISSP)

C.3: Plot the selected countries’ rates of ‘foreign borns’ against people’s opinion on whether employers should give priority to nationals over immigrants when having vacancies (EVS)

C.4: Plot the selected countries’ unemployment rates for the year 2000 against people’s perception of their country’s employment situation in 2001 (Eurobarometer)

C.5. Plot the selected countries’ indicators of inequality (LIS) against their populations’ view on the question whether the government should reduce income inequalities (ISSP)


Assignment 4 (26/6/2007)

Bruno Palier

How to measure welfare reform?

Welfare reform has attracted considerable attention in recent literature on social policy. However, it is still difficult to find agreement on what reforms are made of, their content, what impact might be associated with them etc? By taking two to three examples of ecent welfare reforms in two to three European countries, try to elaborate and implement a grid for measuring welfare reform and the politics and welfare changes to be linked to these.


Assignment 5 (27/6/2007)

Alison Smith

Design an Index.

Put together a short presentation about an index you might like to develop. Consider the points below.

1. Identify the concept you want to measure in an index (e.g. child well-being, father-friendliness of policy, support for women’s employment, any other topic of interest to you) 2. Develop a nominal definition of this concept 3. Identify relevant dimensions of the concept (not more than 4 for today’s exercise) 4. Specify appropriate indicators for each dimension (operational definitions). Reflect upon the validity and reliability of the indicators.

5. Which data sets might you use?

6. How would you construct your index?