The harmonisation of European surveys run by national institutes is a task of growing importance for the European statistical system. The European Community Household Panel (ECHP) switched in three countries from input harmonisation with strict comparability of questionnaires and statistical routines to ex-post harmonisation with reduced comparability of questionnaires and statistical routines. This switch of method was caused by the stop of three national sub-samples and their replacement by ongoing household panels run by other institutes.
It is the overall objective of Chintex by means of this unique data situation to clarify if it is necessary to have centralised, standardised survey instruments to achieve harmonisation and comparability or if this objective can also be achieved by ex-post harmonisation, by which independent national sources are satisfactorily converted to common concepts, definitions, survey questions.
Furthermore, the project investigates important hypotheses about the data quality of panel surveys (non-response, reporting errors and panel effects) which are of general interest for survey statisticians.