IDESCAT and BSE will create administrative dataset for social sciences research


Photo: IDESCAT Director Frederic Udina discusses the joint initiative at the BSE Economics Trobada in October.

The socioeconomic dataset from a population of 7 million people will offer new opportunities for sophisticated policy assessment and empirical research. 

The Barcelona School of Economics and the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (IDESCAT) have signed an agreement to create a registry level dataset that will include administrative data for the 7 million inhabitants of Catalonia. 

The initiative, which follows the example of countries such as Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, will connect information on key socioeconomic characteristics of the adult population (age, gender, marital status, educational attainment) with more detailed information on their health, educational outcomes for their children, as well as economic activity (occupation, sector of work, and earnings, among others).

"The BSE is one of the most powerful potential users of this data, which is why we are very interested in working with you all," IDESCAT Director Frederic Udina said to Affiliated Professors at the recent Economics “Trobada.”

"Access to good data lies at the core of policy monitoring and evaluation, as it allows more sophisticated tools for reliable assessment of programs," explained Prof. Ana-Rute Cardoso (UAB and BSE). “A stable microdata structure available to researchers is an invaluable resource to study the behavior and microfoundations of economics. We can only look forward to and be extremely grateful for this initiative of IDESCAT and the BSE.”

The construction of the data infrastructure will be finalized by the end of 2017, at which point an international call will welcome research proposals from economists and social scientists who want to use the data for empirical research.

Data Manifesto

On October 20, in honor of the United Nations World Statistics Day, the BSE was one of 12 institutions to sign a Data Manifesto. The intention of the Data Manifesto is to raise awareness in public administrations, and society at large, about the many opportunities that an appropriate use of data can create in terms of understanding social and economic phenomena.