Under the current R01 and supplemental challenge grant, we developed the Survey Meta Data Repository (metadata.rand.org) to facilitate cross-national studies of aging. The repository currently contains: (1) meta data from and searchable concordance information on all available waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA), the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the Korean Longitudinal Study on Aging (KLoSA), the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS), the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), and the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), the Longitudinal Aging Survey in India (LASI), the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS), the Irish Longitudinal Study of Aging (TILDA), and the Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE);(2) survey flow charts for 2006 HRS, ELSA, and SHARE, 2008 CHARLS, and 2010 LASI;(3) harmonized variables on demographics, sample weights, identifiers, marital history, parent mortality, family structure, health, health behavior, financial and housing wealth, income, and employment history for the 1992 - 2008 HRS, 2002 - 2008 ELSA, 2004 - 2008 SHARE, and 2006 - 2008 KLoSA;(4) contextual information from secondary sources on economy, education, environment, gender, health, health care systems, household finance, labor, pension, population, and public welfare;and (5) a wiki system for researcher comment and input. We first launched the repository site in February 2009 for the originally funded R01 (2002 - 2008 HRS, ELSA, SHARE, and KLoSA). We launched an updated site, incorporating additional surveys, on February 18, 2011. Since then, 2,545 unique visitors have accounted for 5,532 visits and 98,852 page views (as of October 21, 2011), spending 11 minutes in an average visit. Our renewal application seeks to enhance the repository by creating additional harmonized variables, updating the Meta data, and improving usability. Specifically, we seek to (1) Expand harmonized variables with (a) 2010 and 2012 waves of HRS, ELSA, SHARE, and KLoSA; (b) two additional surveys, CHARLS (2008, 2011, and 2013 waves) and LASI (2012 and 2014 waves);(c) additional harmonized variables in health care use and insurance, cognition, consumption, family exchange and relation, retirement, pension;(2) Provide aggregate population and sub-population estimates of key indicators in an interactive, user-friendly display of tables or graphs in user-specified leves of aggregation and years;(3) Update the repository with (a) meta data indexed for cross-wave, cross-survey concordance from 2010 and 2012 HRS, ELSA, SHARE, and KLoSA, 2011 and 2013 CHARLS, 2012 and 2014 LASI, 2011 and 2013 MHAS, 2009, 2011 and 2013 JSTAR, and 2011 and 2013 TILDA;(b) additional survey flow charts;(c) contextual data from national statistical offices;and (4) Disseminate the harmonized variables, meta data, and contextual statistics through user workshops. This work will help large numbers of researchers launch cross- country analyses of health, retirement, and aging.

Public Health Relevance

The Survey Meta Data Repository facilitates cross-country analyses on aging, health, and retirement by providing a comprehensive digital library of survey questions, a set of harmonized variables, and tools to search, compare, and obtain the information users can use from 11 health and retirement surveys from 25 countries. We propose to bring further innovation to enhance the quality and usefulness of the repository and therefore will help more researchers launch cross-country analyses of health, retirement, and aging, and therefore, accelerating the pace of scientific innovations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SSPS-H (09))
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Phillips, John
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Rand Corporation
Santa Monica
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