The Luxembourg Income Study (Lis): Past, Present and Future

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Anthony B. Atkinson

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: MAY 2004

Abstract

Internationally comparable data are essential to our understanding of income inequality and its impact on our societies. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) has played a key role in raising to a new level such comparative analysis, and its collection of microdata has been used by a wide range of social scientists. The contribution of LIS over the past 20 years can be seen from the fact that there is now a broadly agreed picture of the differences in income inequality across OECD countries (Section 1). The present importance of LIS lies in the need to keep the picture up to date in a rapidly changing world, and in the sensitivity of analysis to data quality and comparability (Section 2). Looking to the future, it is argued that LIS will continue to be crucial, but that more needs to be done in creating long-run annual time series and in modelling the impact of policy (Section 3).

Keywords: income, distribution, inequality, data

Suggested Citation

Atkinson, Anthony B., The Luxembourg Income Study (Lis): Past, Present and Future (MAY 2004). Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 2, pp. 165-190, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=811438

Anthony B. Atkinson (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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