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

  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Dean R. Lillard

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.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.43212.de/dp486.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 486.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp486
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  1. 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 S238-S246.
  2. Duncan, Greg J, et al, 1993. "Poverty Dynamics in Eight Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 215-34.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2002. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Micro Estimation," NBER Working Papers 9407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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, vol. 28(3), pages 353-360, August.
  8. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1.
  9. 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.
  10. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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