LIS cross-national data on income and inequality
The LIS Cross-National Data Center provides internationally comparative data on income, inequality, employment and expenditure at individual and household levels. The Centre is based in Luxembourg. There are two major series:
- The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) generates comparative data on income, labour and demographic characteristics of 46 countries
- The Luxembourg Wealth Survey (LWS) generates household-level data on assets and debt, market and government income, household characteristics, labour market outcomes, expenditures and behavioural indicators for seven countries.
LIS provides (i) categorical variables in standardised formats and (ii) household disposable income disaggregated into comparable sub-components.
LIS and LWS data are available via the remote access software LISSY, which supports Stata, R, SAS and SPSS. Online registration details are below. (Note that it is necessary to re-register on the Cross-National Data Center site each year.)
The LIS working papers' database provides research findings based on LIS and LWS data.
See also the Standardized World Income Inequality database (v.7.1, University of Iowa), which gathers and collates income inequality data "to meet the needs of those engaged in broadly cross-national research by maximizing comparability while maintaining the widest possible coverage across countries and over time.” The database covers 173 countries from 1960 to present.
- LIS data ranges from the 1970s to present, varying by country
- A table of wave releases by country is on this LIS page.
The LIS Research Institute provides an Introduction to LIS and LWS data.
For detailed information - including income definitions, labour market variables, the treatment of currency and data set revisions - consult these online guides:
LIS and LWS are accessible via LISSY - a remote access software. To register:
Click on 'Register' to submit the form
Subject to approval by the Cross-National Data Centre, applicants receive a user ID and password (usually within three working days)
- Log in to LISSY (upper right, blue tab).
Users of this resource may also be interested in the World Inequality Database providing access to data on “the historical evolution of the world distribution of income and wealth, both within countries and between countries.”
Contact: Thomas Bourke at [email protected]