Analysing the activities of society of today and tomorrow
Research activities in economics and social sciences aim to identify and understand human activities through the prism of analysing the activities of society of today and tomorrow as a whole or of groups of individuals. Over the past decade, digital technologies have transformed the economy and society, with an increasing volume of data generated as the driving force behind this transformation, offering individuals and actors in public and economic life the means to take better decisions.
Data management has therefore become a topical challenge for all research players but especially for the Data Centre, a key LISER infrastructure, whose main mission consists in ensuring data processing activities at the Centre. Through its data collection and dissemination capabilities, the Data Centre makes it possible to feed and support LISER research activities, and to, ultimately, participate in improving knowledge of society.
New challenges relating to data exploitation, data exchange and data valuation has arisen such as:
- How should the current infrastructure evolve in order to process large data volumes or collect data through new channels while allowing citizens the control over their data?
- How to efficiently give proper access to or share research data to not only LISER researchers but also to our partners seeking long-term and secure access to our data?
- How to improve the reproducibility and reliability of self-based evidence research and to gain maximum potential and impacts from data assets reuse?
The Data Centre is faced with the need to rethink and modernise its research infrastructure to address these issues. That implies the adoption of technical, ethical and legal solutions, but beyond simply following a set of rules, the definition of a sustainable governance of research data.
To achieve the high-reaching goal of becoming a recognised and sustainable data infrastructure, the Data Centre focuses its efforts on three main axes:
- Pursue the development of an integrated technical platform gradually offering solutions and services from expanding and adapting our collection tools and methods through modern channels (such as mobile applications) to securely access in house and remotely data.
- Generalise the implementation of methodological, technical and legal standards and good practices to manage our data warehouses to ensure the preservation, access and reusability of high quality and meaningful research data (“FAIR data”);
- Raise collaboration with and awareness among the LISER research community by accompanying them for data management planning along research projects on the stakes of the protection, ethic and intellectual property of data in a global approach that, on the long run, foster the enrichment of LISER research data assets.
How we age in Luxembourg and in Europe? What are the living conditions of people in Luxembourg and in Europe?
SHARE is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel survey on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of individuals from twenty-seven European countries and Israel. The objective of the survey is to better understand the ageing process and to examine diﬀerent life styles of people aged 50 and older in Europe Read also International recognition . Since 2004, seven waves of data have been collected.
SHARE has become a pillar of European research on ageing.
The results of SHARE are important because they allow researchers and decision-makers to observe and understand current challenges in our societies, develop appropriate and timely policies, and, thus, improve the quality of life of European citizens. This makes the SHARE infrastructure a crucial knowledge base and monitoring tool for national and European policy makers. SHARE is also one of the main databases used for research projects in Europe. At least two scientific publications based on SHARE data are registered every week from researchers all over the world and from different research areas.
In October 2019, LISER launched the 8th wave of SHARE, the fourth wave in Luxembourg. More than 2.200 residents in Luxembourg, aged 50 or older have been contacted to participate in the Survey. Wave 8 has similar questions as previous waves, which gives the possibility to evaluate whether there have been changes in individuals' life since the last interview, but it also includes new questions. In particular, in this wave, SHARE aims to get information on how people spend their days. In the previous wave, the questionnaire contained questions about leisure activities of respondents. In Luxembourg for example, the majority of people over 50 practice reading in their free time. Many of them also play logic, card or board games. One in four persons attends a sport club. Some people volunteer or return to school and a smaller proportion of people is engaged in political activities.
With SHARE data, it is possible to explore the links between these leisure activities and different health conditions Read also Fighting poverty: which objective and which policies? Read also Assessment of Primary Care Performance in Luxembourg . For example, it has been shown that both sport and social activities are beneficial for health. But how often and at what intensity should one practice sport and social activities for there to have a positive influence on health? What activities are particularly beneficial? Is there a difference between men and women? To answer these questions, in this new wave, SHARE would like to know more about respondents' daily life and their occupations. New questions are then introduced: How long did you sleep last night? How many hours per day do you work? How much time do you spend gardening? How much time do you spend with your children or grandchildren? How much time do you spend on your hobbies?
What is the EU-SILC survey conducted for? From which data is the at-risk-of-poverty rate calculated? What is the point of responding to surveys?
EU-SILC (European Union Statistical Survey on Income and Household Conditions)
In 2019, LISER conducted, for the 17th year in a row, the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey on behalf of the National Institute of Statistics of Luxembourg (STATEC). The aim of this annual survey is to collect data on income, poverty Read also Fighting poverty: which objective and which policies? Read also Globalisation, Inequality and Populism across Europe , social exclusion, work, education, health and living conditions in order to produce national and European indicators, especially the at-risk-of-poverty rate, for monitoring poverty and social inclusion in the EU. Approximately 7600 households living on the Luxembourg territory were contacted for this 17th wave and 3838 agreed to respond. To carry out this survey, LISER sent more than 90 interviewers on the field, 6 days a week for 7 months from March to September. Ultimately, more than 10 000 individuals from 0 to 97 years old - 8 700 adults and 2 000 children - were interviewed face-to-face. Half of those interviews were done in French, while 45% were done in Luxembourgish and 5% in English.
Each year, a specific theme related to social inclusion is deepened. In 2019, for the third time since its launch, the survey focused on the intergenerational transmission of poverty factors. Thanks to this data, temporal relevant comparisons can be done. It highlights the increase or decrease of the persistence of disadvantages from a generation to another such as a low level of diploma Read also Luxembourg’s skills mismatch: one out of two employees concerned , the difficulty to make ends meet or the fact to not be employed.
This survey has progressively become the essential ground for official statistics used by STATEC to build the annual reference report on the social status and the well-being of the Luxembourgish society, the report “Travail et Cohésion Sociale”. Other key actors in Luxembourg have used this survey as a major tool for the evaluation of the public policies against inequalities and social exclusion. Some publications include the Almanach social of Caritas, the Panorama social of the Luxembourg Chambers of Employees (CSL) or LISER’s papers such as the one on child deprivation that for years has relied on EU-SILC data. Recently, a special edition of the “Bulletin économique de la Chambre de commerce” on poverty measures used the data as well.
Thanks to the outcomes produced from this database, Luxembourg has substantially increased its knowledge on the national poverty structure and on the corresponding levers to remedy it. So, many thanks to all the households who have participated, especially those who have for multiple years, for their help in strengthening these valuable sources of information.