Health inequalities have been documented across a wide variety of social groups, such as class, gender, and race (and their intersections). These inequalities are pervasive - in that they have been documented in almost every country for which we have data - and they are durable - in that they do not seem to be improving over time. It has become increasingly clear that the social determinants of health - the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and die - play a crucial role in explaining disparities in health outcomes.
Social policy plays a central role in structuring the social determinants of health and this research theme is concerned with how policy decisions may influence the health and well-being of populations. Our work in this theme covers a range of policy areas – including welfare reform, political institutions, taxes and transfers, and trade deals – and operates at a variety of scales, from neighbourhoods to global regions. We also draw on a variety of methodological tools, including natural experiments, spatial analysis, and citizen science.