Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national database of micro data on health, socio-economic status as well as social and family networks of more than 30,000 individuals aged 50 or over. Data collected include health variables (e.g. self-reported health, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, health behaviour, use of health care facilities), psychological variables (e.g. psychological health, well-being, life satisfaction), economic variables (current work activity,
job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing, education), and social support variables. In addition, the SHARE data base features anchoring vignettes from the [ COMPARE] project and the World Health Organization's [ Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE)] , and generated variables and indicators created by the [ / AMANDA] RTD-Project
(e.g. assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks, volunteer activities). [Börsch-Supan, A.; Hank, K.; Jürges, H. (2005): A New Comprehensive and International View on Ageing: Introducing the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, European Journal of Ageing (2) 4, 245-253.]

Eleven European countries have contributed data to the 2004 SHARE baseline study. They constitute a balanced representation of the various regions in Europe, ranging from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) through Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands) to the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece). Israel joined the SHARE framework in late 2004, becoming the first country in the Middle East to initiate systematic study of its aging population. In addition to the SHARE domains, SHARE Israel data cover measures of life-long trauma, including exposure to the Holocaust and effects of the Israeli pension reform. Two 'new' EU member states - the Czech Republic and Poland - as well as Ireland have joined SHARE in 2006 and participated in the second wave of data collection in 2006-07. The survey’s third wave of data collection, [ SHARELIFE] in 2008-09, will collect detailed retrospective life-histories in sixteen countries, with Slovenia joining in as a new member. [Börsch-Supan, A.; Brugiavini, A.; Jürges, H.; Mackenbach, J.; Siegrist, J.; Weber, G. (eds.) (2005): Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe – First Results from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging, University of Mannheim.] [Börsch-Supan, A.; Jürges, H. (eds.) (2005): The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe - Methodology, Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging, University of Mannheim.]

SHARE data are available for download by resarchers and analysts via the SHARE website at no costs [] .

SHARE is designed after the role models of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), but has the advantage of encompassing cross-national variation in public policy, culture and history across a variety of European countries.

SHARE currently builds up a biannual panel with funding from the DG Research, Research Infrastructures of the European Commission, the US National Institute on Aging and national sources. SHARE’s scientific power is based on its panel design that grasps the dynamic character of the ageing process. SHARE’s multidisciplinary approach delivers the full picture of the ageing process. Rigorous procedural guidelines and programs ensure an ex-ante harmonized cross-national design.

SHARE is co-ordinated centrally at the [ Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging] by Prof. Axel Börsch-Supan, Ph.D. (Project co-ordinator) and PD Dr. Hendrik Jürges (Assistant co-ordinator).


External links

SHARE Project Family
*SHARE Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe []
*SHARELIFE - The Retrospective Survey []
*COMPARE - Toolbox for Improving the Comparability of Cross-National Survey Data with Applications to SHARE []
*Co-ordinator of SHARE:
Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging []

SHARE sister studies:

*U.S. Health and Retirement Study HRS []
*English Longitudinal Study of Aging []

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