Uppsala Center for Labor Studies

Oskar Nordström Skans, Uppsala University

Scientific Advisory board
Richard Freeman, Harvard University
Karl-Ove Moene, University of Oslo
Nina Smith, Aarhus University

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Uppsala Center for Labor Studies is a so-called Forte Center of Excellence, funded by a grant to Uppsala University from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte). The center was started on January 1, 2010 and has received funding for 10 years. The mid-tern evaluation report is available here.

UCLS is a multidisciplinary undertaking, comprising researchers from economics, political science and labor law. UCLS focuses on three broad research themes:
• Labor market institutions and employment relations
• Unemployment and social protection
• Earnings, education, and inequality

The research themes are in part motivated by an interest in understanding how “the Nordic model” will fare in the process of globalization. Do adverse intensified competition and more turbulent economic environments strengthen the adverse incentive effects of social protection? Or do welfare state provisions, such as unemployment insurance, facilitate structural change by breaking resistance to mobility? Sweden’s participation in the European Union raises new issues regarding labor market regulations as it has become increasingly common that disputes in the domestic labor market involve firms or workers from more than one country.

The Director of UCLS is Oskar Nordström Skans, professor of Economics at Uppsala University. The deputy director is Per-Anders Edin, professor of Industrial Relations at Uppsala University. The Department of Economics serves as host institution for the center.


UCLS is set up as a multidisciplinary research center under the umbrella of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University. According to the chosen model, the Faculty Board appoints a governing board and a director. The Faculty Board assumes responsibility for the overall strategy, while the director is in charge of the current operations. The center has an international advisory board.

UCLS board

Professor Mats Edenius, Department of Informatics and Media (Chair)
Professor Eva Mörk, Department of Economics, Uppsala University
Professor Joakim Palme, Department of Government, Uppsala University
Claes Stråth, former Director-General of the The National Mediation Office (Medlingsinstitutet)
Lillit Ottosson, student representative, Department of Economics

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Richard Freeman, Harvard University
Professor Karl-Ove Moene, University of Oslo
Professor Nina Smith, Aarhus University