Analysing institutional systems and delivering enabling data and technology to identify mechanisms of disadvantage

There is still much that we don’t know about how deep and persistent disadvantage transmits from one generation to the next, and how political and economic systems alleviate or worsen disadvantage, and widen inequalities.

The Life Course Centre’s Disadvantage Systems Research Program aims to identify how disadvantage occurs. The program investigates how social and economic systems, the community, and institutions shape deep and persistent disadvantage and determine how new data systems and technologies can inform this research.



Projects in this program are:

  • determining the risk and protective factors that predict the impact of divorce, separation, and multi-parent families as they relate to disadvantage
  • benchmarking the life course pathways to deep and persistent disadvantage in Australia against comparison countries
  • developing fit-for-purpose datasets that capture the dynamics of real life social processes over the life course and across generations, through linking survey and administrative data
  • modelling critical turning points in the life course where disadvantage is accumulated, sustained and transcended
  • monitoring the impact of changing social and economic systems on the life course trajectories of Australia’s most at-risk population sub-groups.

Program Leader: Professor Mark Western