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Where You Live Matters?

Project description

Exploring income inequality in developed economies

The number of developed countries that are experiencing an increase in both economic growth and income inequality has been on the rise in recent decades. To reverse this trend, it’s important to identify the reasons why some social groups are more successful than others. The EU-funded WYLM project will explore the role local governmental policies play in shaping labour market results of vulnerable groups in their societies. WYLM will focus on two socially-at-risk groups that experience income inequality. Specifically, it will study refugees granted asylum in the Netherlands through their placement across municipalities and Dutch parents of children with a disability using a decentralisation reform of youth care responsibilities.


Despite the presence of overall economic growth, during the last decades many developed countries have witnessed a rise in income inequality within their societies. The widening divide makes it crucial to understand why certain groups fall behind. The objective of the proposed project is to explore an avenue that has been largely overlooked by the literature so far: the role of local governmental policies in shaping labour market outcomes of vulnerable groups in society. To causally identify the importance of local governance, I exploit quasi-random variation induced by the Dutch institutional context and a uniquely rich administrative database covering the Dutch population. The project focuses on two socially-at-risk groups who are disadvantaged in the labour market. In the first subproject I look at refugees who are granted asylum in the Netherlands, I make use of their (quasi-) random placement across municipalities. The second subproject explores the outcomes for Dutch parents who have a child with a disability and utilizes a decentralisation reform of youth care responsibilities. The variation in local governance in both natural experiments can show whether and for whom the support policies are effective. In that sense, where you live matters as it may impact individuals’ life outcomes.


Net EU contribution
€ 175 572,48
3062 PA Rotterdam

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Groot-Rijnmond
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 175 572,48