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SHARELIFE - The Retrospective Survey

SHARELIFE is the third wave of data collection for SHARE, which focuses on people's life histories. Almost 30,000 men and women across 13 European countries took part in this round of the survey. The respondents are representative for the European population aged 50 and over in Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden), Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands), and the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece), as well as two transition countries (the Czech Republic and Poland).

SHARELIFE links individual micro data over the respondents’ entire life with institutional macro data on the welfare state. It thereby allows assessing the full effect of welfare state interventions on the life of the individual. Changes in institutional settings that influence individual decisions are of specific interest to evaluate policies throughout Europe.

The SHARELIFE questionnaire contains all important areas of our respondents’ lives, ranging from partners and children over housing and work history to detailed questions on health and health care. With this variety SHARELIFE constitutes an ideal interdisciplinary dataset for research in the fields of sociology, economics, gerontology, and demography.

The data collection for SHARELIFE took place between autumn 2008 and summer 2009. The SHARELIFE data can be linked to the existing data of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), a multidisciplinary and cross-national database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of individuals aged 50 or over and are available for scientific use free of charge.