The European Commission has stressed the need to bring social indicators on a par with macroeconomic indicators within the macroeconomic governance. A key part of the strategy is the availability of harmonised statistics at EU level covering the distributional aspects of household income, consumption and wealth. This comes along also with the recommendations of the Sen, Stiglitz and Fitoussi Commission, which have stressed the need for considering income and consumption jointly with wealth and giving more prominence to the distribution of these three dimensions.
The initiative by Eurostat on development and production of harmonised Income, Consumption and Wealth data as part of the official statistics in the EU is embedded in the reinforcement of social statistics and quality of micro data for joint ICW distributions based on the existing surveys. The filling of data gaps between micro and macro statistics using harmonised micro data on joint distributions of ICW is our reply to the data needs of policy users in the EU.
Therefore there are two different workstreams associated to this project, still with a high degree of coordination and collaboration. The first one is purely micro-related, aiming at bringing closer the different existing surveys and enlightening the joint distribution of Income, Consumption and Wealth. Different techniques of statistical matching are intended to be applied in order to build a broader picture of the budget constraint faced by European households. A description of the advancement of this part of the project is available on this page.
The second one aims at building bridges between macro and micro-statistics regarding Income, Consumption and Wealth. Similarly to the work carried out by several organisations (OECD, ECB,...), the purpose of this workstream is to reconcile concepts from macro and micro-statistics and produce meso-data that will be consistent at the micro and the macro-level. The advancement of this part of the project is available on this page.