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A Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe - Switzerland - Wave 4

Applicant Holly Alberto
Number 126791
Funding scheme Research Infrastructure
Research institution Institut d'Economie et de Management de la Santé (IEMS) Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.02.2010 - 31.01.2012
Approved amount 1'683'242.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Political science

Keywords (14)

Survey; Ageing; SHARE; Health; Retirement; Interdisciplinary; Infrastructure; Population aging; Well-being of the elderly; Health service utilization; Housing and family networks; Inter-generational transfers; Social participation; Longitudinal database

Lay Summary (French)

Lay summary
L'enquête européenne SHARE (Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) a pour objectif de créer un panel européen interdisciplinaire axé sur les questions sanitaires et socio-économiques liées au vieillissement, processus qui constitue un enjeu majeur pour les sociétés européennes dans les années à venir.L'étude longitudinale SHARE vise à recueillir des données représentatives de la situation socio-économique et de la santé de la population âgée de plus de 50 ans dans les pays d'Europe partenaires au projet. Ces données sont obtenues à l'aide d'une enquête (questionnaire " face à face ") qui inclut des variables relatives à la santé (état de santé subjectif, statut physique et cognitif, utilisation des services de santé, etc.), des variables psychologiques (santé psychique, bien-être, croyances, etc.), des variables économiques (activité professionnelle, âge de la retraite, histoire professionnelle, sources de revenu, éducation, etc.), et des variables sociales (support familial, transfert de revenu, réseau social, utilisation du temps, etc.). Les données recueillies au cours des vagues successives de l'enquête longitudinale SHARE sont aisément accessibles à la communauté scientifique, tout en respectant les exigences de confidentialité. Fondées sur un questionnaire identique, ces données permettent d'effectuer des comparaisons entre pays d'Europe notamment pour l'étude des problèmes sociaux, économiques et sanitaires auprès de la population des 50 ans et plus.Le but de la vague 4 de SHARE est de rendre disponibles des données au niveau individuel qui soient suivies au cours du temps, et qui puissent fournir des informations sur les interactions complexes entre facteurs sociaux, économiques et de santé, spécifiques de la population âgée de 50 ans ou plus en Europe. Elle vise à enrichir considérablement les bases de données constituées à partir des trois vagues précédentes.SHARE est un projet d'infrastructure offrant un immense potentiel au niveau de la recherche dans diverses disciplines concernées par les problèmes liés au vieillissement de la population. Les données recueillies au cours des vagues successives sont aisément accessibles à la communauté scientifique, tout en respectant les exigences de confidentialité. La conception du questionnaire des enquêtes SHARE est orientée également vers l'éclairage des politiques publiques dans les domaines économiques, sociaux et sanitaires soulevés par le vieillissement de la population. Le projet SHARE vise à s'étendre au niveau de l'ensemble des pays de l'Europe et à prendre la forme d'un " European Research Infrastructure Consortium " (ERIC) désigné par SHARE-ERIC.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
139514 A Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe - Switzerland - Wave 5 01.02.2012 Research Infrastructure


Like other 15 countries all around Europe, Switzerland has been participating to the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) project since its beginning in 2004. SHARE is the first cross-national and longitudinal study providing representative and interdisciplinary information on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of people aged of 50 and over in Europe. SHARE depicts an emergent picture of growing old Europe, thus filling an important gap of available data on the elderly in Europe. SHARE strives to understanding ageing and how it affects individuals in the diverse cultural and welfare settings of Europe. After the project’s successful start in 2004-05 with the first wave, the study (re-)interviewed more than 35,000 individuals aged 50 and over in 2006-07 with the second wave, covering 15 European countries. The survey’s third wave (under the name SHARELIFE) currently progressing in 14 countries, aims at collecting multidisciplinary and retrospective data of individuals in order to construct a detailed life history. SHARELIFE is conducted with the same respondents to keep the longitudinal aspect of the entire survey. The whole SHARE project follows a common set-up across all participating countries with the goal of collecting data that are strictly comparable to allow cross-country research. The long term ambitions are 1) that SHARE will continue to collect data every two years 2) to extend to all 27 European Union member states plus Switzerland and Israel and 3) to increase the size of the samples. The present proposal focuses on the fourth wave of data collection of the SHARE project in Switzerland. There are three main objectives of this Wave 4 project, hereafter “SHARE 2010”. First, a revised version of the questionnaire strengthening the concordance with the existing US Health and Re-tirement Study (HRS), the UK English Longitudinal Survey of Aging (ELSA) will be designed. Based on this innovative questionnaire, SHARE 2010 will take a similar form as the two first waves (SHARE 2004 and 2006) of the project. The second is to extend the longitudinal dimension of the existing survey. The same respondents as in SHARE 2004 and SHARE 2006 will be then re-interviewed. The third is to enlarge the study by increasing the size of the current sample (1500 individuals) to 4000 men and women aged 50 and over living all around Switzerland. Such a data collection is important for at least two main reasons. First, participating to SHARE 2010 offers a unique opportunity to connect the information already collected for three points in time (2004, 2006 and 2008) in Switzerland to more recent one in order to follow the changes over time associated with the dynamic of aging in Switzerland. A deep understanding of ageing is only possible when we observe individuals as they age over time, adapting to changed health, economic and family circumstances. The temporal dimension is crucial for several reasons. Indeed, ageing is a process and not a state, and processes need to be observed over time. In addition, it allows detecting causality, which is not possible in a single wave of data. Furthermore, Switzerland as well as the other European countries are undergoing rapid institutional changes. Data with time dimension let researchers observe the reaction to those changes (e.g. the choice of a later retirement age, different health service utilization and corresponding health status changes in response to health care reform etc…). The second main reason is that participating to SHARE 2010 permits to perform comparative cross-national analysis including Switzerland. That will also permit Switzerland to remain a participating country to the SHARE research infrastructure that constitutes a fundamental and innovative resource for science and public policy. The resulting data base will integrate three existing data bases (SHARE 2004, SHARE 2006 and SHARE 2008) with one data base to be collected (SHARE 2010); it will enable a further integration of cross-national and longitudinal methods of analysis; and it will permit free and user-friendly access.The SHARE 2010 project will reinforce a key infrastructure initiated with SHARE 2004. It will enable researchers from a broad set of disciplines to analyse the wide ageing process in Europe in general and in Switzerland in particular; to better understand adaptive behaviour in response to population ageing and its induced policy changes; and to develop cross-nationally comparable indicators for key concepts relevant to European countries policies, including Switzerland.