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The Contribution and Potential of Data Harmonization for Cross-National Comparative Research

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  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Dean R. Lillard

Abstract

The promise of empirical evidence to inform policy makers about their population's health, wealth, employment and economic well being has propelled governments to invest in the harmonization of country specific micro data over the last 25 years. We review the major data harmonization projects launched over this period. These projects include the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), the Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF), the Consortium of Household Panels for European Socio-Economic Research (CHER), the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), and the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We discuss their success in providing reliable data for policy analysis and how they are being used to answer policy questions. While there have been some notable failures, on the whole these harmonization efforts have proven to be of major value to the research community and to policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard V. Burkhauser & Dean R. Lillard, 2005. "The Contribution and Potential of Data Harmonization for Cross-National Comparative Research," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 486, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp486
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    1. Richard Burkhauser & Greg Duncan & Richard Hauser & Roland Berntsen, 1991. "Wife or frau, women do worse: A comparison of men and women in the United States and Germany after marital dissolution," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(3), pages 353-360, August.
    2. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    4. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, January.
    6. Richard V. Burkhauser, 2001. "What Policymakers Need to Know about Poverty Dynamics," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 757-759.
    7. Duncan, Greg J & Gustafsson, Bjorn & Hauser, Richard & Schmauss, Gunther & Messinger, Hans & Muffels, Ruud & Nolan, Brian, 1993. "Poverty Dynamics in Eight Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(3), pages 215-234.
    8. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter & Gert G. Wagner, 2001. "The Dynamics of Child Poverty: Britain and Germany Compared," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 233, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Richard V. Burkhauser & Philip Giles & Dean R. Lillard & Johannes Schwarze, 2005. "Until Death Do Us Part: An Analysis of the Economic Well-Being of Widows in Four Countries," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 60(5), pages 238-246.
    10. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, January.
    11. Dean R. Lillard & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2005. "Income Inequality and Health: A Cross-Country Analysis," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 109-118.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    2. Joachim R. Frick & Stephen P. Jenkins & Dean R. Lillard & Oliver Lipps & Mark Wooden, 2008. "Die internationale Einbettung des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP) im Rahmen des Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF)," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(3), pages 110-129.
    3. Brian A'Hearn & Nicola Amendola & Giovanni Vecchi, 2016. "On Historical Household Budgets," Rivista di storia economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 137-176.
    4. Frick, Joachim R. & Jenkings, Stephen P. & Lillard, Dean R. & Lipps, Oliver & Wooden, Mark, 2007. "The Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) and Its Member Country Household Panel Studies," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 627-654.
    5. Jeff Larrimore, 2013. "Cross-National Inequality Trends Using Historical Tax Return Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(3), pages 568-571, September.
    6. Richard V. Burkhauser, 2009. "Deconstructing European poverty measures: What relative and absolute scales measure," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 715-725.
    7. Loretta G. Platts, 2015. "A prospective analysis of labour market status and self-rated health in the UK and Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 343-370, April.

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