The Public Finances and Living Conditions cluster examines economic and social living conditions and their transformation as well as distributional effects, incentive effects, and behavioral effects of state, institutional, and individual actions. The focus is on empirical analyzes based primarily on representative microdata from scientific data infrastructure and official statistics. The cluster consists of the Public Economics and Education and Family departments and a Gender Studies research group. Organizationally, parts of the research infrastructure Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) work in this cluster as well.
The topics income and wealth distribution, effects of the tax and transfer system, family and pension policy, inequalities between men and women, effects of labor market policies (in particular the minimum wage), and the emphasis on education questions form complementary thematic core areas for research and consulting. For example, the Public Economics Department examines the impact of family benefits on occupational behavior, the Education and Family Department focuses on family and educational issues, the Gender Studies research group analyzes how benefits affect inequalities between men and women, and SOEP examines the impact of family benefits on spouses’ decisions and negotiating positions in the household.