The objective of our research is to supply the best possible knowledge base for questions that relate to our research areas, either directly or indirectly. We study the consequences of different policy alternatives through direct evaluations and also create an increased understanding of the conditions for politics through studies of how relevant contexts for politics work.

The activities are primarily government funded. Parts of the activities are funded through grants applied for by researchers at IFAU in competition with other researchers.

IFAU has four assignments. These are determined by the government and can be found in the regulations for the authority (in swedish).

  • Follow-up and evaluation of the labour market activities. We follow up and evaluate new and old labour market policy programmes. We also study the effects of the design of the unemployment insurance. How programmes affect the income and employment effects of the participants is of importance. The analyses are made for different groups (for example women, foreign born individuals and individuals with low education). IFAU also compiles research surveys on the effects of labour market policy.
  • Evaluation of the effects of measures within the educational system. We study education for youths and adults. The focus is on how different measures affect the study results of individuals and their future labour market outcomes. In particular, the analyses study the effects for men and women, different age groups and people with different social backgrounds.
  • Evaluation of the effects of social insurance on the labour market. For example, we study what are the effects of the compensation levels in the social insurances or the rehabilitation efforts on the health of the participants and their return to work.
  • Studies of the functioning of the labour market mainly concern wage formation, labour supply and demand for labour. How are these affected and what are the effects for particularly vulnerable groups?

IFAU also runs a number of methodological projects within all areas. In our evaluations, we are to illustrate the differences between men and women in particular.

We have divided the four assignments into 16 research areas.

Making the evaluations available

The results of our (research)projects are published in Swedish reports and Working Papers in English. We also provide summaries of the results on our webbepage and organise seminars, courses and conferences within our research areas. 


We have internal projects that are conducted by researchers employed at IFAU and external projects that are conducted by researchers who have research grants from us. Applications for research grants are made in competition with other applications. The director general takes the decisions based on suggestions from the scientific council. IFAU’s researchers and analysts do often take initiatives for projects. We prioritise according to how much (or little) knowledge there exists about a question, if it is possible to make a credible evaluation and take into consideration how central the question is for society. Some of the projects are also direct government assignments.


IFAU conducts a great deal of work on pseudonymised personal data. The data is protected by the General Data Protection Regulation and the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act. Information about processing personal data for research purposes is to be found in IFAU’s Integrity policy.

Quality assurance of publications

IFAU does, in particular, publish working papers and reports. Our working papers must have a scientific level that is equal to that of the international research community. Each working paper is normally submitted to a peer-review journal. The Swedish reports might either be a summary of a working paper or a separate product. Our reports and working papers are subjected to both an internal and an external review before being published. In accordance with our guidelines, each report and working paper must:
• be presented at a seminar at IFAU and normally at least in one more academic environment.
• Before being published, it must be reviewed by an external and an internal referee. Moreover, the publication must have been approved by an editor in charge.

International contacts

Employees at IFAU do regularly participate in international conferences and the researchers also have several connections to important international research environments and publish in scientific journals. We also receive many international visiting researchers and several researchers are affiliated with the institute.


If you have questions about how our research is conducted and how we work with quality assurance, you are welcome to contact communications manager Sara Martinson.