Research content


The CSP studies social inequality and income distribution in the welfare state. Through a broad range of topics in various research areas and pertaining to different policy target groups (women, children, the elderly, the low-skilled, …), the centre focuses mainly on the basic paradigm of welfare capitalism: economic growth, investment in human capital, active labour market policies and social re-distribution within the framework of nation states will contribute to the eradication of poverty and social inequalities and to the guarantee of social rights for all citizens.



The research approach is a) multi-disciplinary (economics, sociology and law), b) empirical, c) builds on the understanding of the formation and content of policy, d) endeavours to find cumulative answers to the question of how an optimal balance can be attained between welfare growth and welfare distribution under changing social, economic, demographic and ecological circumstances. The centre takes a national as well as an international perspective.



The central research question with regard to social inequalities and poverty within welfare states encompasses three focal dimensions :

  • the social, economic, demographic and ecological mechanisms that give rise to poverty and inequality;
  • the developments in social policies and how these changes have an impact on the architectures of various welfare states;
  • the explanation and understanding of the impact of social policies in terms of poverty and inequality.


The acquired insights into social redistribution in modern welfare states provide the foundation for the Centre’s further development of theory of social policy. As is apparent from the publications on policy impact, on trends in poverty and inequality and on the functioning of welfare states, this work has gained broad international recognition.




The core of the Centre’s  methodological approach consists of :

  • the formation, the treatment and the interpretation of large scale data sets (international surveys such as ECHP, SILC, SHARE, LIS and administrative data such as the Belgian Crossroads Bank for Social Security or the Data-warehouse),
  • the development of adequate instruments for the measurement of poverty , inequality and adequacy of social policies;
  • the development and interpretation of social indicators which capture key social trends in a clear, concise and valid way.
  • the development of simulation models with a view to enhancing the measuring of policy impacts. As a result the CSP now plays a prominent role in the development of the European Micro-simulation Model EUROMOD. The application of the micro-simulation technique has resulted in various relevant national and international policy evaluations. Besides the use of empirical micro-simulation models, the application of standard simulation models has also led to new insights and influential publications.



Universiteit Antwerpen - University of Antwerp
Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid © 2005 - 2020