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Devolution, policy and evidence

Ermisch, J.F. and Wright, R.E. (2005) Devolution, policy and evidence. In: Changing Scotland: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey. Policy Press, Bristol, United Kingdom, pp. 1-12. ISBN 1861345933

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Abstract

The Scottish Parliament opened in 1999. Since this devolution of powers, there has been an increase in the demand for empirically-based, policy relevant, comparative research to help design policies and determine their impact. Changing Scotland uses longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey to improve our knowledge and understanding of the impact of devolution on the lives of people in Scotland. It is the first time that BHPS data has been used in this way. The book provides a detailed examination of social, economic, demographic and political differences, especially those involving dynamic behaviour such as residential mobility, unemployment duration, job mobility, income inequality, poverty, health and deprivation, national identity, family structure and other aspects of individual's lives as they change over time. This data provides a 'baseline' for policy formulation and for analysing the impact of subsequent differential developments arising out of devolution. The book is also an invaluable resource for establishing pre-existing differences between England and Scotland and evaluating the impact of policy initiatives by the Scottish Executive. Changing Scotland is important reading for academics and postgraduate students in social policy, economics and politics, as well as policy makers, government social researchers and those with an interest in innovative research methods in social science. This chapter of the book focuses on the policy and evidence of devolution.