Third EU-SILC Network on income and living conditions (Net-SILC3)

The Third Network for the Analysis of EU-SILC (Net-SILC3) was a research network funded by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) and coordinated by LISER. It built on a solid foundation of previous EU networks, which were also coordinated by LISER (esp. Net-SILC1 and Net-SILC2). Launched in 2016 for a period of 4.5 years, Net-SILC3 consisted of a group of institutions and researchers using the comparative EU data source EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). It brought together experts from nine European Statistical System (ESS) bodies and eight academic bodies:

  1. ESS bodies:
    • the overall coordinator (LISER); and
    • eight ESS bodies: Statistics Austria, Statistics Finland, Statistics France (INSEE), Statistics Latvia (CSB), Statistics Luxembourg (STATEC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Statistics UK (ONS) and the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health (Sciensano).
  2. Research bodies:
    • GESIS (Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany);
    • Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) of the University of Essex (UK);
    • Institute of Economic Sciences (Republic of Serbia);
    • Stockholm University;
    • University of Amsterdam;
    • University of Antwerp (Belgium);
    • University of Manchester (UK);
    • University of Oxford (UK);

Between 2016 and 2020, Net-SILC3 carried out in-depth methodological work and socio-economic analysis of the EU-SILC data covering both cross-sectional and longitudinal dimensions. It also developed common tools and approaches regarding various aspects of data production for the whole European Statistical System.

The 26 Net-SILC3 work packages (WPs) were organised around two large clusters:

  • The first cluster aimed at providing a thorough analysis of the various sources of non-sampling errors in EU-SILC. A focus of Net-SILC2 was the analysis of sampling errors. This has led to major progress inter alia in the assessment of the robustness of EU social indicators (the Net-SILC2 methodology is now used by the European Commission as well as Member States in the EU Social Protection Committee’s Indicators Sub-Group). Net-SILC3 devoted a large part of its resources to the study of non-sampling errors. Non-sampling errors are systematic or variable errors that arise from aspects of the survey process other than sample selection. These include errors due to frame under-coverage, non-response, measurement and processing. Such errors are important as studies in various contexts have shown them to be often at least as influential as sampling error. They can, however, be reduced through a combination of improved data collection practices and post-survey adjustment methods, but this requires understanding of the nature of the sources of error. This cluster of 11 WPs was designed to identify the main sources of non-sampling errors in EU-SILC, to describe the nature and impact of each type of error, and to produce guidance on reducing them.

The Net-SILC3 book presenting the results of the first cluster will be published early 2022: Lynn P. and Lyberg, L. (eds) (2022). Improving the measurement of poverty and social exclusion in Europe: reducing non-sampling errors, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

  • The second cluster aimed at deepening our knowledge of the determinants and dynamics of income and living conditions through in-depth analyses of a number of socio-economic issues. A key objective of this cluster was to suggest robust policy-relevant indicators in this field. This cluster covered a wide range of fields of interest and was composed of 15 WPs.

The NET-SILC3 book presenting the results of the second cluster is available here: Guio, A.-C., Marlier, E. and Nolan, B. (eds) (2021). Improving the understanding of poverty and social exclusion in Europe, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Net-SILC3 also organised four Best Practices Workshops and two Conferences.

The first Net-SILC3 Best Practices Workshop on “Assessing and improving the validity and comparability of the EU-SILC income, own consumption, health and housing variables” and the first international conference took place in Athens in April 2018. This event was kindly hosted by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and organised by LISER together with the University of Antwerp.  See http://www.statistics.gr/netsilc3-athens/ for the program and the abstracts. 

The second and third Net-SILC3 Best Practices Workshop on “Frame errors and non-response, weighting and calibration and imputation for income variables” took place in Essex in February 2019. This event was kindly hosted by ISER and organised by LISER together with ISER.  See https://www.liser.lu/?type=news&id=1641 for the program and the abstracts.

The fourth Best Practices Workshop and the second international conference were cancelled in May 2020 due to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Some papers presented at the Conference or at the Best Practices Workshops lead to  Eurostat Statistical working papers:

At the margin: By how much do social transfers reduce material deprivation in Europe? (by G. Notten and AC Guio), see https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3888793/11055446/KS-TC-20-007-EN-N.pdf/092f76ba-a219-8cbc-bfab-d501ee39d3f5?t=1593678162000

Micro- and macro-drivers of child deprivation in 31 European countries (by A-C Guio, E. Marlier, F. Vandenbroucke, P. Verbunt), see https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3888793/10400302/KS-TC-20-003-EN-N.pdf/71f09ad8-467e-ec94-0ec0-ac9fd4b79268?t=1580394029000

Reconciliation of EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) data with national accounts (by Veli-Matti Törmälehto), see https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-statistical-working-papers/-/KS-TC-19-004?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2Feurostat%2Fpublications%2Fstatistical-working-papers

The comparability of the EU-SILC income variables: review and recommendations (by Tim Goedemé and Lorena Zardo Trindade), see https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/product?code=KS-TC-20-001 See also the full analysis and annex: https://www.inet.ox.ac.uk/files/MetaSILC-2015-Report_Final.pdf and https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/TLSZ4S


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