Previous research has had limited success in identifying the links between family policies and fertility. The research conducted at SPaDE also incorporates the other life events that are strongly associated with childbearing, such as leaving the parental home, finishing education, establishing oneself in the labor and housing markets, entering cohabitation or marriage, and experiencing union dissolution.

The Center’s research program fills gaps in the current literature by clarifying the key elements of social policies, and the mechanisms by which these policies lead to various outcomes. The research conducted at SPaDE identifies critical junctures across the life course, uses high quality data on family dynamics and policy contexts, and applies state-of-the art modeling and statistical analysis. Policy domains that are studied include parental benefits, education, labor markets and conditions of work, and housing. Researchers at the Centre are also responsible for the development of new data infrastructures to support future research on social policy and family dynamics.