Linking Survey Data to Administrative Records in a Comparative Survey Context

  • Annelies G. BlomEmail author
  • Julie Korbmacher


Linking survey data to external databases that contain records pertaining to the same respondents holds substantial promise for survey researchers. There are a number of methodological challenges with generating the links between the data sources, but there may also be administrative challenges in linking the datasets. This issue becomes particularly important when conducting cross-national research where research standards and requirements may vary substantially across countries. This chapter provides an overview of process of linking in a comparative context and highlights several issues that researchers are likely to encounter when conducting this type of work.

References and Further Reading

  1. Börsch-Supan, A., Brandt, M., Hunkler, C., Kneip, T., Korbmacher, J., Malter, F., Schaan, B., Stuck, S., & Zuber, S. (2013). Data resource profile: The Survey of Health. Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). International Journal of Epidemiology, 42(4), pp. 992–1001Google Scholar
  2. Calderwood, L., & Lessof, C. (2009). Enhancing longitudinal surveys by linking to administrative data. In P. Lynn (Ed.), Methodology of Longitudinal Surveys (Pp. 55–72). New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Korbmacher, J. M., & Schmidutz, D. (2015). A note on record linkage in SHARE. In F. Malter & A. Börsch-Supan (Eds.), SHARE Wave 5: Innovations & Methodology, MEA, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy (Pp. 57–63). Munich.Google Scholar
  4. Schmidutz, D., Ryan, L., Müller, G., De Smedt, A., & De Smedt, K. (2013). Report about new IPR challenges: Identifying ethics and legal challenges of SSH Research. Deliverable D6.2 of Data Service Infrastructure for the Social Sciences and Humanities (DASISH). Retrieved from:

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and Collaborative Research Center “Political Economy of Reforms” (SFB 884)University of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social PolicyMunichGermany

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