Longitudinal Data Collection in Continental Europe : Experiences from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in (SHARE)

Börsch-Supan, Axel ; Hank, Karsten ; Jürges, Hendrik ; Schröder, Mathis

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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2031
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-20315
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2008
The title of a journal, publication series: MEA Discussion Papers
Volume: 162
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des MEA (Mannheim Research Institute For the Economics of Aging) > MEA Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Subject headings (SWD): SHARE <Projekt> , Alterssoziologie , Bevölkerungsentwicklung , Europa
Abstract: To cope with the challenge of Europe's rapid population ageing, it is important to improve our understanding of the complex linkages between economic, health, and social factors determing the quality of life of the older population. These interactions take place at the individual level in the first place, they are dynamic - as ageing is a process, not a state in time - and they must be related to a country's welfare regime. So far, however, cross-nationally comparable, longitudinal micro-data on the economic, social, and health situation of older people in Europe were missing. The 'Survey of Health, Ageing and Retrirement in Europe' (SHARE) is closing this gap. So far, SHARE collected data on health, social, and economic situation of more than 30,000 individuals ageg 50 or older. In 2004, a baseline wave of data collection was conducted in 11 countries, ranging from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) through Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands) to the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece). In 2005-06, further SHARE data were collected in Israel. For the second wave of data collection, which was conducted in 2006-07, two 'new' EU memeber states - the Czech Republic and Poland - as well as Ireland joined SHARE. The survey's third wave, which is scheduled for 2008-09, will focus on the collection of detailed life-histories of respondents who participated in previous waves. Further waves are being planned to take place on a biennial basis. Substantively, SHARE provides an infrastructure helping researchers to understand better the individual and population ageing process: where we are, where we are heading to and how we can influence the quality of life as we age - both as individuals and as societies. Methodologically, SHARE provides a unique opportunity to address a broad range of survey-research issues against the background of an ongoing large-scale corss-national study with a longitudinal perspective. This chapter focuses on methodological issues onf SHARE. It begins with a history of the SHARE baseling wave (Section 2), focussing on efforts made to ascertain cross-national comparability. We then describe the 'longitudinal' experiences from the survey's second round (Section 3), followed by an overview of the preparations for collecting life-histories in wave 3 (Section 4). The final Section 5 concludes with an outlook on the future of SHARE.
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