Databank of Centre for Economic and Regional Studies

MISSION

Databank of the Center for Economic and Regional Studies – Hungarian Academy of Sciences

(i) We collect, clean, and harmonize the most important Hungarian repeated cross-section surveys including the quarterly LFS (1992-), the Wage Survey (a LEED started in 1986-), the Household Budget Survey (1990-), the Time Use Survey and student and school-level educational data.

(ii) We have so far built three big LEED panels (Admin1, 2 and 3) based on administrative data. Admin3 follows 5 million people over a period of 15 years, with monthly resolution. The data cover employment, occupation, wages, detailed employer characteristics, transfers, registration as unemployed, active labor market program participation, school and college/university attendance, test scores at age 12, 14 and 16, and several indicators of the observed person’s state of health. Colleagues and schoolmates are identifiable. The two previous panels covered 7 and 9 years, respectively, and had fewer variables on health and education.

(iii) Furthermore, we built a geographical data set (GEO), with 45,500 census tracts being the unit of observation. The data contains detailed, census-based information on the CTs and a matrix of accessibility, in terms of distance, time and costs, by public transport and driving.

(iv) In a Data Room, operated jointly with the CSO, researchers have access to full censuses and demographic data sets (dating back to 1970), firm registers, product-level trade data, and a register of inter-firm payments, among others. The data can be linked. Results should go through an output checking procedure at the CSO.

(v) We opened a 35 end-points laboratory for experiments in 2018.

(vi) Access to the data is regulated by primary data owners. Most data sets in (i) are available for researchers of the CERS and their coauthors (with or without CERS affiliation) and students. Admin1, Admin2, and GEO are unconditionally available for the international research community. Admin3 will be made unconditionally available after a two-year long period, during which only CERS researchers and their coauthors can use it. The Data Room is open for research projects led by social scientists of the Centers of Excellence of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, but project participants are not required to have an Academy affiliation. The Lab is open to the research community at the cost of a modest fee.

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Currently, 216 researchers have remote access to our servers. We ensured access to big data or handed over smaller data sets for off-line use 191 times in 2019. Since 2014, we have registered 8393 sessions in the Research Room, where currently 148 researchers work on 48 projects. Our clientele includes researchers from universities and full-time institutes in Hungary and abroad, including Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Oxford, and Cambridge. The Databank, which employs four full-time and two part-time workers, has so far been financed by the Academy of Sciences and, to a lesser extent, donations by research projects.