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easySHARE is a simplified HRS-adapted dataset for student training, and for researchers who have little experience in quantitative analyses of complex survey data. While the main release of SHARE is stored in more than 100 single data files, easySHARE stores information on all respondents and of all currently released data collection waves in one single dataset. Moreover, for the subset of variables covered in easySHARE, the complexity was considerably reduced. For example the information collected only from one person of a couple or in a household was transferred to all respective respondents; time constant information collected only in the first interview was transferred to all later interviews; the coding of missing values was enriched to provide an easier understanding of the routing and filtering of the interviews; etc. In addition, several ready to analyse variables have been added, such as health indexes, demographic information, or economic measures. When possible measures have been selected or recoded to facilitate comparative analyses with the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

Content of the easySHARE Download Zip Files:

easySHARE is stored as a long format panel dataset covering respondents from all SHARE countries and hence it is very suitable for teaching longitudinal as well as country-comparative analyses. Of course, it is also possible to use just one data collection wave.

In addition to the dataset, the download zip files include the Stata program that was used to extract easySHARE from the regular distribution of SHARE. This allows users to retrace how each variable was extracted and modified and facilitates adding or changing information. It can also be used as an example of how to create an analysis dataset yourself.

The Release Guide to easySHARE (PDF) documents the data format and all variables included. It provides a chapter that gives basic instructions on how to work with the data using the most common statistical software packages (Stata, SPSS and R).

easySHARE Data Access:

Registered SHARE users can download easySHARE from the SHARE Research Data Center. More information on how to register as a SHARE user is available here.

If you are planning to use the easySHARE data set for teaching purposes, please take note of the simplified application procedure. It provides 'teachers' with a convenient way of registering all course participants as regular SHARE users at the same time and allows them to distribute the easySHARE data set to their 'students'. In order to use easySHARE data for teaching purposes simply fill out and sign the easySHARE Teacher Statement (PDF).


easySHARE is intended for student training and teaching purposes. For scientific publications we recommend using the main data set of SHARE, or to carefully study this documentation and the Stata program that extracts and generates easySHARE from the main release of SHARE.

In case easySHARE data is being used for theses or other scientific publications, besides the mandatory SHARE acknowledgement, the following additional acknowledgement has to be included:

“This paper uses data from the generated easySHARE data set (DOI: 10.6103/SHARE.easy.500), see Gruber et al. (2014) for methodological details. The easySHARE release 5.0.0 is based on SHARE Waves 1, 2, 3 (SHARELIFE), 4 and 5 (DOIs: 10.6103/SHARE.w1.500, 10.6103/SHARE.w2.500, 10.6103/SHARE.w3.500, 10.6103/SHARE.w4.500, 10.6103/SHARE.w5.500).”

Please cite the dataset in your references as follows:

Börsch-Supan, A., C. Hunkler, S. Gruber, A. Orban, S. Stuck, M. Brandt (2016). easySHARE. Release version: 5.0.0. SHARE-ERIC. Data set DOI: 10.6103/SHARE.easy.500

Further information:

SHARE Working Paper 17-2014 "Generating easySHARE - Guidelines, Structure, Content and Programming" (PDF)

easySHARE Flyer (PDF)