The conference “Methodological Inspirations 2023: Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences – Challenges and Problems”, is organized every two years by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences at the beautiful Jablonna Palace. Topics of presentations include issues of statistical analysis, survey fieldwork methodology and improving survey questionnaires or questionnaire items. During this year’s conference, which was held on September 21-22, Zbigniew Sawinski and Anna Kiersztyn presented a paper introducing the panel data harmonization scheme developed as part of the CNB-Young project. Harmonization of biographical data from panel surveys requires supplementing existing harmonization procedures with tools designed to take into account the specific properties of longitudinal life-course data collected in different countries. In our scheme we propose starting the harmonization process by transforming the original panel datasets into a unified format, and adding monthly ASC (Activity Status Code) variables reflecting the completeness and modes of collection of data on life-course activities (working, studying, prolonged unpaid leave, etc.) undertaken by respondents in successive units of time. In addition to the ASC codes, methodological variables are added to the transformed dataset, including information on the wave of the survey in which the data on individual activities were collected. This allows data users to easily compare data describing different periods of respondents’ biographies both between panel surveys and between different waves of the same survey.
[Photo by: Piotr Libicki (https://dipp.info.pl/baza-dipp/mazowieckie/powiat-legionowski/gmina-jablonna/palac-jablonna-2)]