The Achilles heel of SHARE, very much like the European Union itself, lies in the centrifugal forces of the member states with their different policies, priorities and abilities to pay. These centrifugal forces have increased with the number of countries and endanger the cohesion of SHARE as a pan-European infrastructure, especially our ability to harmonise the scientific content and the survey methods across SHARE’s member countries. SHARE’s strategy to counter these centrifugal forces has been, from its very beginning, to establish a strong central coordination, which is financially independent.
The overarching aim of this project is therefore to strengthen the centralised approach of SHARE in order to combine scientific excellence with cohesion across all 28 SHARE member countries. To reach this aim, several objectives are set in SHARE Waves 8, 9, and 10:
- Supporting the supranational innovation and development tasks to be executed by the Area Coordinators (scientific content)
- Supporting the survey designers (fieldwork methods and electronic tools)
- Funding training as it is instrumental for internal cohesion, especially in the scientifically less developed Member States and their participating SMEs
- Due to COVID-19, adaptation and revision of scientific content, electronic tools, interview mode, and training procedures, plus implementation of the first SHARE Corona Survey including data release
So far, the project performed a combination of innovation and development tasks such as:
- An extension of the cognitive function module in SHARE by adding further tests in close coordination with the US Health and Retirement Study
- A time expenditure module measuring how much time people over 50 years old spend on different activities while keeping track of changes in their time expenditure after retirement, after changes in their living situation or after a health shock
- The collection of physical activity data using accelerometry
- A saving regret module, asking panel members of 65 and older whether they regret the savings paths they took earlier in life and which saving choices they would have preferred in hindsight
- A panel version of the social network module, which tracks changes in respondents' interpersonal milieu over time and a social integration index
- Improvement of the “jobcoder” (list of occupational titles across countries)
- Preparing the laboratory results from the dried blood spot samples (DBSS), which were collected in Wave 6
- Survey methodological innovations include a retention stimulation programme, improvement of sampling frames, a better targeting of respondents in institutions, and more efficient fieldwork monitoring
- SHARE Interviewer Survey to evaluate interviewer strategies
- Further development of the electronic tools which have made SHARE famous:
- Development of an adaptive testing tool and improve the data and documentation tool (DDT; available at https://www.share-datadocutool.org/)
- Completely revamped software infrastructure
- Improvement of the translation platform
- Compatibility with current software and hardware environments
- In reaction to COVID-19: adaptation and revision of scientific content, electronic tools, interview mode, and training procedures, plus implementation of the first SHARE Corona Survey including first data release.
- Launch of the new SHARE website
The SHARE-COHESION project is an important element of the overall SHARE project. Its main impact is the impact of SHARE itself, which provides an infrastructure of data permitting researchers to help matching the challenges of population ageing, both in terms of empirical research and evidence-based policy decisions. By the end of 2022, the number of users had surpassed 17,000 scientists worldwide. SHARE has been used widely by the EU Commission and Member States’ governments in designing and evaluating health care, long-term care, pension and labour market policies.
Since SHARE Wave 7, full coverage of all Continental EU Member States has been attained. The current challenge is to maintain this EU coverage in spite of the current political trends of re-nationalization and disregard for scientific evidence. The main sustainability challenge for SHARE is to align SHARE’s five operational pillars (i.e., (1) national survey, (2) routine tasks, (3) international coordination, (4) innovation and development of content and methods, (5) harmonisation with other surveys) with the available funding sources. A particular challenge is to find a manageable balance between centralised and decentralised funding.
Release 0 of Wave 9 finished
Release 8.0.0 of Wave 8 published
Project Midterm Review Meeting
Review of First Reporting Period finished
SHARE-ERIC is the Coordinator. Beneficiaries are the following institutions:
- SHARE Berlin Institute (SBI), Berlin, Germany
- University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense, Denmark
- University of Paris-Dauphine (DAUPHINE), Paris, France
- Hebrew University, Jerusalem (HUJI), Israel
- TU Dortmund University (TUDO), Dortmund, Germany
- Università Ca’ Foscari (UNIVE), Venice, Italy
- University of Padova, Department of Economics and Management (UNIPD), Padova, Italy
- Centerdata, Tilburg, (Centerdata), The Netherlands
- Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI), Madrid, Spain
- Max Planck Society, Munich, Germany (participation terminated)
- Munich Research Institute for the Economics of Aging and SHARE Analyses gGmbH (MEA), Munich, Germany (participation terminated)
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This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 870628