Research briefs

Our research briefs summaries selected studies written by researchers at the Department of Economics

Kvinna med ett barn i knät

Cost-effectivesupport for families in low-income countries

The first years of a child’s life are crucial for the future. During these years, the brain develops rapidly, and therefore the nutrition and stimulation a child receives is of great importance. In low- and middle-income countries, however, it can be challenging to support children’s well-being and development because the interventions are expensive. A new study concludes that in countries with established support programs, there is a cost-effective way to introduce help focusing on early education. The program studied, implemented in Bangladesh, showed an internal rate of return of 18.9%.

Download a PDF of the brief here Pdf, 106 kB.

Read the full research brief on the support programme online here

Fyra händer som håller i varandra i en fyrkant

Less unequal when social networks lead to jobs

The question of how contacts affect job opportunities has long been a subject of debate. A new study by Marcus Eliason, Lena Hensvik, Francis Kramarz, and Oskar Nordström Skans sheds new light on the issue. The results challenge the perception that social contacts reinforce inequality in the labor market by primarily benefiting high-income individuals who have contacts in other high-paying firms. However, the study finds no evidence to support this notion. Instead, it reveals that contacts are more important for low-wage firms, which hire people from various income levels. Therefore, there are indications that job placements through contacts are actually more equal than traditional, more formal search methods, as such recruitments involve greater movement between income levels.

Read the full research brief on equality and social networks

Kvinna som håller en bebis

How do companies react when employees take more parental leave?

There is a lot of research examining the impact of parental leave on parents' careers, women's and children's health, and the distribution of leave between parents. However, less is known about the impact of parental insurance schemes on firms, which is an important issue because extended parental insurance can make it more expensive to hire women and negatively affect firms' profitability and competitiveness. In a new study, researchers Arizo Karimi, Rita Ginja and Pengpeng Xiao examine how two parental insurance reforms that extended parental leave affected firms' hiring decisions and costs.


Read the full research brief on parental leave and businesses