About the project

Coordinator: University of Helsinki
Consortia: The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), University of Stockholm/SOFI with collaboration of University of Bath and University of Utrecht
Funding: Prime Minister’s office
Duration: 11/2020–5/2022

The project comprises of 4 subprojects.

Subproject 1. Problem areas of integration of social security benefits and services in Finland and comparison countries

The sub-project 1 maps and describes the problem areas of social security in Finland and the comparison countries with the help of the following questions:

  • What kind of problems are particularly noticeable in the working-age population in Finland in coordinating income security benefits and services on the basis of research literature?
  • How common are the corresponding problem areas in the selected comparison countries?

The sub-project utilizes previous research literature as well as national and international studies, reports and databases.

Subproject 2. International comparison of solutions to the problems

The sub-project 2 maps and describes the benefits, services and processes related to jobseekers’ problems in the selected countries, answering the following research questions:

  • In what ways are others countries aim to prevent and alleviate similar problem areas?
  • (What solutions are planned in different countries?)

The sub-project will carry out a vignette survey of Finland and four comparison countries (Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), which will be supplemented by expert interviews. In the vignette four main hypothetical categories (youth unemployed, long-term unemployed with and without insurance, long-term unemployed with refugee background) are separated and the respondents (expert in social security and PES administration) will reflect how a typical pathway extends for such category and how different factors (manipulated differences in situation) affect the clients situation: e.g. how does level of education (primary/secondary education qualifications), the receipt of earnings related or basic benefit, persons health related work ability etc. affect to the allocated services (and benefits). Furthermore, the vignettes aim at understanding the process related issues (i.e. related to when, who and how services are provided) and what major obstacles the people as well as admin faces in these situations.

Subproject 3. International comparison of the functionality of solutions

The sub-project 3 brings together a wide range of international research evidence on the effectiveness of solutions. The sub-project will make use of existing statistical data, including international questionnaires (EU-SILC), statistics and databases (MISSOC, SPIN). In addition, we utilize existing evaluation studies in target countries.

Subproject 4. Utilization of solutions from other countries in Finland

The aim of the sub-project 4 is to identify features in the social security systems of the four comparison countries that could be used in Finland's social security reform. The utilization of these features in the Finnish social security system is studied by using the EUROMOD microsimulation model. The simulation study is carried out in the so-called a policy swap-type exercise in which parts of another country's social security system replace parts of the Finnish social security system or introduce new parts into the Finnish social security system. The results of the simulation are evaluated in relation to the solutions obtained from the vignettes, which gives a better understanding of the compatibility of the service system with the benefit system. Subproject 4 thus enables a unique and comprehensive comparison of the possibilities of international solutions in Finland.