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How much confidence can we have in EU-SILC? Complex Sample Designs and the Standard Error of the Europe 2020 Poverty Indicators — 2011, Goedemé, Tim
If estimates are based on samples, they should be accompanied by appropriate standard errors and confidence intervals. This is true for scientific research in general, and is even more important if estimates are used to inform and evaluate policy measures such as those aimed at attaining the Europe 2020 poverty reduction target. In this article I pay explicit attention to the calculation of standard errors and confidence intervals, with an application to the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The estimation of accurate standard errors requires among others good documentation and proper sample design variables in the dataset. However, this information is not always available. Therefore, I complement the existing documentation on the sample design of EU-SILC and test the effect on estimated standard errors of various simplifying assumptions with regard to the sample design. It is shown that accounting for clustering within households is of paramount importance. Although this results in many cases in a good approximation of the standard error, taking as much as possible account of the entire sample design generally leads to more accurate estimates, even if sample design variables are partially lacking. The effect is illustrated for the official Europe 2020 indicators of poverty and social exclusion and for all European countries included in the EU-SILC 2008 dataset. The findings are not only relevant for EU-SILC users, but also for users of other surveys on income and living conditions which lack accurate sample design variables.
Keywords: poverty, EU-SILC, Standard error & confidence intervals, Europe 2020 indicators, sample design Link
Individuals and Households in the Czech Republic and CEE Countries — Jiří Večerník ed.
The authors of the volume aimed to analytically interlink the optics of individuals and households and focus on their demographic and socio-economic behaviour since 1989 in the Czech Republic, and compare these observations with other EU countries, primarily those of Central Eastern Europe. The analysis starts with life trajectories and family formation. In the second chapter, a closer look at couples and the packaging of the family budget is provided. In the third chapter, simultaneous changes in earnings disparities and in the inequality of household income are studied. In the fourth chapter, data on the development and patterns of self-employment in four Central-East European countries in comparison with Austria and Germany are presented. The fifth chapter focuses on the role of economic and institutional factors in the growth of family businesses in Europe. The sixth chapter presents the household as a religious group.
Keywords: female labour force participation, fertility, income inequality, life-cycle, relation income earnings inequality, self-employment, earnings inequality Link
Tárki European Social Report 1. (2008 ) — edited by István György Tóth. Budapest: Tárki Social Research Institute
This study prepared and published by TÁRKI Social Research Institute provides an overview of demographic, labour market, income and housing situation of households in Europe. The basic data source used is the "Community Statistics on Income and Living Conditions" survey of the European Union (EUSILC) of 2005, accompanied by a number of other sources with a Europe-wide focus.
Keywords: demographics, education, income inequality, housing, labour market
Child poverty and child well-being in the European Union. Report prepared for the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opoprtunities (Unite E.2) of the European Commission — Tárki 2010
STUDY ON CHILD POVERTY AND CHILD WELL-BEING IN THE EU. Combating child poverty and improving child well-being have become key issues on the policy agenda of the EU and Members States. The Study on Child Poverty and Child Well-Being in the EU was commissioned by the DG Employment, Social Affaires and Equal Opportunities (Unit E.2) of the European Commission and was concieved as a follow-up of the work carried out in 2007 and 2008 by the European Commission and the Member States in the context of the European Strategy for Social Inclusion, notably the report prepared by the EU Task-Force on Child Poverty and Child Well-Being. The Study was prepared to contribute to the development of more coherent and integrated policies in this area and was carried out by an international consortium formed by TÁRKI Social Research Institute (Budapest) and Applica (Brussels), also including affiliated researchers from the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER, Colchester) and European Centre for Social Welfare and Research (Vienna). Timing of the contract: December 2008 ? December 2009. The main aim of the report was to: * identify the main determinants of child poverty and social exclusion in Europe and across the Member States; * provide an overview and assess the effectiveness of existing policies on income support and access to the labour market and enabling services of parents; * define a reduced set of indicators which best reflect the multi-dimensional nature of child well-being, suitable for monitoring policies aimed at reducing child poverty, enhancing the welfare of children and improving their life-chances. For more details and for downloads see
Keywords: benefit level, children, demographics, deprivation, disadvantaged groups, family, gender, poverty
European Inequalities: Social Inclusion and Income Distribution in the European Union — Edited by Terry Ward, Orsolya Lelkes, Holly Sutherland, István György Tóth Budapest: TÁRKI Social Research Institute 2009
EUROPEAN INEQUALITIES summarizes four years of research on social inclusion and income distribution across the European Union carried out within the framework of the European Observatory on the Social Situation and Demography, which has been established by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the European Commission. It provides an overview of the comparative information that is available for the EU Member States on income distribution, poverty and its causes, access to benefits and social services, and material deprivation. It also offers insight into the potential of European surveys and notably the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The book examines the distribution of income and the extent of inequality in incomes in EU Member States based on summary indices of income inequality and details the determinants of the risk of poverty and its regional variations. The book also extends the analysis beyond incomes to other indicators of disadvantage, such as the affordability of certain consumer items or the ability of households to pay their bills on time or to make ends meet. Further, the book examines the impact of policies on income: (1) the effects of taxes and benefits on income distribution and (2) the effect of childcare on household income in selected countries. Downloadable from:
Keywords: cash benefits vs. in-kind benefits, children, consumption inequality, earnings inequality, economic growth, educational inequality, equality of opportunity, gender, income, income inequality, intergenerational transmission, joblessness, living standard, measurement, non-cash income, parents education, poverty
Tárki European Social Report 2. (2009 ) — edited by István György Tóth. Budapest: Tárki Social Research Institute
TARKI EUROPEAN SOCIAL REPORT seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the European societies of the enlarged European Union with a particular focus on perceptions, opinions and attitudes. The Report’s analyses were prepared by TARKI Social Research Institute, as part of a research programme entitled "The Social and Cultural Conditions of Economic Growth". The research programme included, among other projects, an empirical study called "The Normative Framework of Market Economy", as well as the Hungarian part of the fifth wave of the "World Values Survey". From the wide range of potential topics, those most relevant to economic activity were selected. People choose, decide and cooperate on the basis of their preferences, and are driven by their cultural background, values, traditions and the like. This was the justification for the choice of topics such as attitudes to welfare, trust, risk, self-reliance, opinions on the role of knowledge, conscious consumption, attitudes to getting ahead in society, etc. The analyses were conducted on data from various waves of the European Social Survey (ESS), the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), the World Values Survey (WVS), the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) and the Eurobarometer (EB). Downloadable from:
Keywords: attitudes, fairness, happiness, social cohesion, social networks, social trust
Czech society in the 2000s: a report on socio-economic policies and structures — 2009, Jiří Večerník
This book is a kind of “social report” on development over the past almost two decades in the areas of employment, social policies, income inequalities, and social structures with a focus to the situation of the middle class, pensioners and the poor, and socio-economic values relating to work and consumption. The aim is to provide a picture of Czech society using statistical and sociological surveys, and look also for systemic changes behind quantitative shifts. Contents: Introduction: policies, structures, inequalities and values 1 The labour market: developments and policies 2 The welfare system: past reforms and enduring problems 3 Social inclusion: implementing EU policies 4 Disparities in earnings: education to the fore 5 Household income: rising inequality, changing structure 6 Taxes and transfers: less redistribution, more progressivity 7 The middle class: less advancement than expected 8 Pensioners: changing socio-political status 9 The poor: non-working and working 10 Work values and job attitudes 11 The pervasive consumer society 12 Economic culture in transition Conclusion: Challenges of the future Comparative tables
Keywords: active labour market policies, attitudes, benefit level, consumption inequality, disadvantaged groups, earnings inequality, in-work poverty, income, income inequality, inactivity, income taxes, labour force participation, labour market policies, living standard, minimum income, policy reform, poverty, return to education, relation income earnings inequality, social class, social exclusion, spending pattern, taxation, transfers, unemployment, value system, welfare state, working conditions, Czech Republic, social inclusion Link
Earnings Disparities and Income Inequality in CEE Countries: An Analysis of Development and Relationships — 2010, Jiří Večerník
The potential in survey data for the study of simultaneous changes in earnings disparities, inequality of household income, and the connections between them has thus far been underexploited. This paper presents various data on four Central and East European (CEE) countries and, for the sake of comparison, partially on Austria and Germany. It uses data from multiple sources. Microdata come from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), an excellent source of secondary cross-national survey data on households and from the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) surveys. First, I compare the changes in both distributions over time since the communist period as reported in various sources and ask: how much did disparities and inequalities increase during the transition? Second, I present some methodological and empirical attempts that have been made so far to analyse the connections between the two distributions and ask: how should the association between personal and household earnings be analysed and what do we know about its development? Third, I present the changing links between earned and disposable income in CEE countries using LIS data for history and EU-SILC data for the present time. Here the question is: how strong was and currently is the association in CEE countries and how do they differ in packaging family income? Two perspectives are used: employed persons (examining the association between their earnings and the income of the households they live in) and employee households (examining the sources of their income by decomposing their inequality). Various sources confirm that earnings disparities and income inequalities rose more or less in all four CEE countries after 1989. This is apparent in the individual countries in various phases of their transition. In contrast, no increase occurred from 2004 to 2007, according to the EU-SILC surveys.
Keywords: income inequality, relation income earnings inequality Link Download

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