Eurostat and Statistics Finland
International Conference on
"Comparative EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions:
Issues and Challenges"

Helsinki, 6-7 November 2006


Statistics Finland
Auditorium - 2nd Floor
Työpajakatu 13
Helsinki, Finland

Starting time: Tuesday, 7 November at 09.00
Finishing time: Wednesday, 8 November at 13.00.

Target audience:

  • data producers: mainly Eurostat and EU-SILC National Data Collection Units;
  • (potential) institutional users: European Commission and Member States (including the members of the Indicators Sub-Group of the EU Social Protection Committee), as well as OECD, WHO...;
  • academic users and the research community in general.

Size: In total, there will be room for up to 120 persons - including speakers, discussants and chairs. Given the limited number of participants, participation will be solely by invitation.


a) All speakers and discussants are invited speakers/discussants. In most cases, the contributions will be supported by empirical results on the basis of the EU-SILC Users' Data Base (UDB), as the papers are expected to be robust on both theoretical and empirical grounds.
b) Timing of Conference's sessions: except if specified otherwise, speakers and discussants will have MAX 20 minutes for their interventions; Questions/Answers (Q/A) will vary between 15 and 30 minutes for each session. It is important that speakers and discussants strictly stick to their allocated time, so as to ensure enough time for Q/A with the floor.
c) Speakers (and discussants) are expected to come up with concrete recommendations in their conclusions.

Timeframe for the Conference:

a) Preliminary papers should be prepared by Friday, 13 October, so that discussants have time to prepare and Conference participants can read the papers in advance of the meeting.
b) Proceedings of the Conference will be published as a Eurostat Publication in the series Monograph in Official Statistics. Pdf version will be posted on Eurostat website. Limited number of hard publication will be available for participants and interested persons
c) Important date
     Submission deadline for abstract: Mai 30, 2006
          Acceptance notification: June 30, 2006
     Feedback from the scientific committee: 20 October 2006
     Conference: November 6-8, 2006
     Paper version of the contribution for publication: December 31, 2006

Description of conference sessions

1 Opening address and general presentation of EU-SILC covering:

a) Opening address
b) General presentation of the EU-SILC instrument: issues and challenges for EU-SILC and main objectives of the Conference.

2 Session on "Income measurement in EU-SILC"

Focus is put on conceptual papers discussing pros and cons of the EU-SILC approach in various dimensions of income measurement in the framework of policy assessment (Open Method of Coordination...) and academic research. Different topics to be covered in this session are:

a) EU-SILC and recommendations of the "Expert Group on Household Income Statistics" (the "Canberra Group"): context of income measurement in EU-SILC, importance for EU-SILC to follow a fairly comprehensive approach to the collection of detailed income components; appropriateness of the requirements of the Canberra framework for the specific purposes of EU-SILC; need or not to be as exhaustive as suggested by the Canberra Group; need or not to apply different income concepts for different purpose.
b) EU-SILC and welfare measurement: negative income, income distribution tails, equal sharing of resources within households as opposed to individualisation of welfare measures, gender statistics perspective.
c) The measurement of some complex income components: self-employment income, property income, imputed rent, company cars, self-consumption, non-cash social transfers, taxes, and employer social contributions.

3 Session on "Non-Income dimensions in EU-SILC"

Non-income dimensions of EU-SILC will be reviewed in assessing their ability to fulfil the EU and country needs in terms of other EU indicators for social inclusion. The degree of correlation with income variables is to be considered. This session is oriented towards the recommendation of new/ revised EU indicator(s) for social inclusion and the possible need to adjust the variables to be collected/ produced under EU-SILC... building on the existing EU work.

Structure of the session:
a) Multidimensional well-being, including health issues in relation to poverty and social exclusion, deprivation and housing, specific situation of women in terms of poverty and social exclusion, various measures of socio-professional status, with a particular focus on the unemployment concepts (current ILO status, current self-defined status and most frequent activity) and the socio-economic classification.
b) "EU-SILC from a children perspective", going much further than simply ensuring that for all indicators we also provide the value of the indicator for the children group(s).

4 Session on "Data quality and comparability in EU-SILC"

This session will concentrate on the several dimensions of quality, accuracy, coherence and comparability (main focus of the session); both comparability between countries (trade-off between comparability and best national practice) and comparability over time (transition from ECHP to EU-SILC) will be considered.

Structure of the session:
a) Background (EU) paper presenting a first assessment of EU-SILC with respect to the 3 dimensions above drawing on the EU-SILC quality reports and the on-going methodological work on EU-SILC and suggest a set of concrete recommendations on the way forward to significantly improve on these key aspects of quality.
b) Academic paper discussing these quality dimensions from an "external" (user's) point of view trying inter aliato answer the question Have we made the good choices when designing EU-SILC (ex ante output harmonisation with strong regulatory implementation procedures) if we consider these 3 different quality dimensions?

5 Session on "EU-SILC to be used for national and comparative EU monitoring of some key aspects of social protection and social inclusion"

The purpose of this session is to identify the needs of institutional and academic users for monitoring and modelling purposes (esp. in the context of the EU Social Protection and Social Inclusion Process), and to "benchmark" these needs against the data currently available in EU-SILC. A outcome of this session should be a set of concrete recommendations to suggest ways of improving the EU-SILC instrument. In this context, the usefulness of specific topical EU-SILC modules could also be raised. Panellists will react to the recommendations made in the previous sessions and to the paper on using EU-SILC for policy modelling and will address the issue of the use of EU-SILC as an aid to making social protection and social inclusion policy.

a) Feedback from sessions on "Income measurement in EU-SILC", "Non-Income dimensions in EU-SILC" and "Data quality and comparability in EU-SILC" by session chairs
b) Paper on using EU-SILC for policy modelling
c) Interventions by panellists:
     European Commission
     Indicators Sub-Group
     OECD representative
     Academic experts

6 Conclusions

Last updated 9.10.2006