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The Design of Social Policy in a Heterogeneous World

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "HETEROPOLIS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Houghton Street 1
city: LONDON
postcode: WC2A 2AE

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙497˙505 €
 EC max contribution 1˙497˙505 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-02-01   to  2022-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Modern societies are characterized by tremendous heterogeneity in economic outcomes: from heterogeneity in wages and employment, to heterogeneity in capital income, wealth and health outcomes. It is unclear, however, how to map heterogeneity in these outcomes to heterogeneity in welfare. This mapping is crucial for the design of tax and benefit systems, providing insurance against individual risk and redistributing income between individuals, while maintaining proper incentives.

The main objectives of HETEROPOLIS are: 1) to provide new insights on the relation between inequality in earnings, wealth and consumption, 2) to develop a new consumption-based method to measure welfare inequality and heterogeneity in the marginal value of social transfers, 3) to provide and implement a simple, but general evidence-based framework to evaluate the differential design of social insurance based on observable heterogeneity, 4) to analyse selection effects due to unobservable heterogeneity and how they affect social insurance design, 5) to analyse heterogeneity in behavioural “biases” and their consequences for policy design.

The first part of HETEROPOLIS analyses the use of registry-based consumption measures to evaluate heterogeneity in welfare and exploits a newly developed data set based on administrative registers for the universe of Swedish households providing comprehensive and detailed information on income, wealth, labour market outcomes and other variables. The second part develops and implements a general evidence-based framework to evaluate the design of multi-faceted social insurance programs in a heterogeneous world. The final part of HETEROPOLIS analyses and estimates different sources of heterogeneity that affect market efficiency and justify further government interventions.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Benjamin R. Handel, Jonathan T. Kolstad, Johannes Spinnewijn
Information Frictions and Adverse Selection: Policy Interventions in Health Insurance Markets
published pages: 326-340, ISSN: 0034-6535, DOI: 10.1162/rest_a_00773
The Review of Economics and Statistics 101/2 2019-10-10
2018 Jonas Kolsrud, Camille Landais, Peter Nilsson, Johannes Spinnewijn
The Optimal Timing of Unemployment Benefits: Theory and Evidence from Sweden
published pages: 985-1033, ISSN: 0002-8282, DOI: 10.1257/aer.20160816
American Economic Review 108/4-5 2019-10-10

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The information about "HETEROPOLIS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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