What We Do

At LIS, we acquire, harmonise, and document microdata from countries around the globe, and make them publicly available in two databases, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS). The databases, which are stored on secure servers, contain variables on income, employment, household characteristics, expenditures, and wealth. The databases are accessible to registered users via a remote-execution system known as LISSY and via DART.

Documenting the microdata, is a crucial component of LIS’ work. METIS, LIS’ METadata Information System, enables browsing, aggregating, and exporting LIS/LWS Databases documentation tailored to the users’ needs. Before conducting any empirical analyses users shall carefully consult METIS and the documentation it holds. Access METIS here.

LIS provides support services and training through its annual Introductory Summer Workshop in Luxembourg, local LIS Workshops held in other countries, and through its many opportunities such as the Visiting Scholars Program, internships, and pre- and postdoc programs.

LIS is an internationally respected venue for cross-national research in the social sciences, serving as a host of international conferences and a virtual host for scholarly exchange.

How We Work

LIS is a unique organisation with the knowledge, skills and expertise to take months of detailed, exacting data production work off your desk, thereby enabling you to concentrate on analysing the data. How is this possible?

Step 1. We locate suitable datasets

The process of identifying suitable and dependable data can be long and complex. We take the confusion out of the equation.

Step 2. We negotiate privacy restrictions with each data provider

LIS negotiates with each country separately to acquire the microdata to be harmonized. This time-consuming process usually requires negotiating national privacy restrictions, and often entails years of building and maintaining relationships. LIS is a trusted organisation which is dedicated to enabling you to maximise your time working with the data, rather than investing months or years accessing and acquiring datasets.

Step 3. We harmonise the microdata

Once the datasets are in-house, our microdata experts document each variable and harmonise the microdata according to a common, standardised template of variables. Depending on the dataset, this process currently takes anywhere from one to three months per country dataset. After more than 25 years of experience harmonising microdata, we have this part down to a science!

Step 4. We double-check the harmonised microdata

As soon as a dataset has been harmonised, it goes through a quality check before being made available to researchers. Ensuring the quality of the harmonised data is a high priority at LIS, for we know that good research is only possible with reliable data.

Step 5. We make quality microdata available to you

LISSY processes data queries written in SAS, SPSS or Stata statistical packages and returns output quickly to users at remote locations. Registration is required.

DART is a powerful web-based interactive tool that allows users to select and visualise income and wealth indicators, countries, and time periods, and to decompose them by a multitude of individual and household characteristics, all based on the LIS harmonised databases.

LIS maintains a set of national indicators called the LIS Key Figures. These are pre-configured indicators that are available to all visitors to the LIS website, along with the underlying programs that are used to create them.