If you used any of the Harmonized Data or Codebooks in a written analysis, then please include the following acknowledgement in your written work (We also ask that you send an email to email@example.com to inform our team of any written analysis) :
"This analysis uses data or information from the Harmonized [Study] dataset and Codebook, Version [Letter] as of [Month & Year] developed by the Gateway to Global Aging Data. The development of the Harmonized [Study] was funded by the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG030153, RC2 AG036619, 1R03AG043052). For more information, please refer to g2aging.org."
If you used a working paper on cross-country comparability, then please cite the paper; for example,
"Jain U, Min J, Lee J. Harmonization of cross-national studies of aging to the Health and Retirement Study - user guide: Family transfer - informal care. University of Southern California, CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper Series No. 2016-008. Published January 2016."
If you used a graph, table, or map, then please cite the following:
"This graph uses data from the Gateway to Global Aging Data (g2aging.org). The Gateway to Global Aging Data is funded by the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG030153)."
If you used cross-study or longitudinal concordance information, recent presentations, or other tools on the Gateway to Global Aging Data, then please cite the following:
"Gateway to Global Aging Data, Produced by the Program on Global Aging, Health & Policy, University of Southern California with funding from the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG030153)."
We work hard to include all longitudinal Health and Retirement studies as part of the Gateway. We focus on studies that were harmonized ex-ante with the family of international Health and Retirement studies. For studies currently included in the Gateway, see the Overview page under the Health & Retirement Studies tab.
If there is a particular study you would like us to include, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find an overview of our existing Harmonized datasets on the Overview page under Harmonized Data. We are constantly updating our existing Harmonized datasets and adding new Harmonized datasets.
If you don't see a Harmonized version of a study which is important to your research, please write to us at email@example.com and we will provide you our best estimate of when that Harmonized dataset will be available.
First, you should sign up for the Gateway to Global Aging Data by clicking the person icon on the top right of any page. If you have already signed up, then make sure you're logged in to the Gateway website.
For information regarding how to gain access to the survey and harmonized data for each study, go to the Get Data page under the Health & Retirement Studies tab and click on one of the corresponding boxes underneath "Data Access Instructions".
The Gateway does not generally provide data to download. Most studies included in the Gateway distribute their own data and the Harmonized datasets we create. Instead, the Gateway seeks to provide as much information as possible about each survey's questionnaires, methodology, design, and about their similarities and differences. We also provide the codebooks and Stata creation code for each Harmonized dataset on our website. For links to download data or the Harmonized datasets please see our Get Data page under the Harmonized Data tab. The Gateway does distribute study data for the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) and the Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study (CRELES).
We currently produce internationally harmonized datasets for many studies. Many of these Harmonized datasets are distributed by the original study along with their study data. For studies that do not distribute Harmonized datasets, we distribute a Stata program for users to download which transforms the original survey data into the Harmonized dataset. For more information on downloading a Harmonized dataset or the Stata code to create a Harmonized dataset, please see our Get Data page under the Harmonized Data tab.
Currently, all Harmonized datasets are available in Stata. The Harmonized HRS, Harmonized MHAS, Harmonized CRELES, KLoSA data, Harmonized TILDA, and Harmonized LASI are also available in SAS. The Harmonized HRS, Harmonized MHAS, Harmonized ELSA and ELSA data, SHARE data, Harmonized CRELES, KLoSA data, Harmonized TILDA, and Harmonized LASI are also available in SPSS. The Harmonized ELSA and ELSA data are also available in tab-delimited format. SHARE data and the Harmonized LASI are also available in R. Limited KLoSA data and the Harmonized JSTAR are also available in a Microsoft Excel format.
Any Harmonized dataset which is generated using Stata Creation code or is downloaded in Stata format can be converted for use in other statistical packages using a program such as Stat/Transfer. If you do not have access to Stat/Transfer, you may be able to read the .dta dataset into your stat package using an “import” or “get” function. When reading a .dta dataset into another package, it is best to first save the dataset in a Stata version 12 format using the command
The Gateway's Stata Creation code pulls original survey variables directly into Stata's working memory to create Harmonized variables. To pull in the correct original survey variable from the survey data requires the specification of the exact file name of each original survey dataset. Many studies update the filenames of the datasets between release versions. If you are given a "file not found" error message when running Stata, you may not be using the most recent release of the survey data. Please make sure you have the latest version of the survey data. If you still encounter an error, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you as quickly as possible.
Some versions of Stata only allow users to read fewer variables into working memory than are in some of our Harmonized datasets (e.g. Stata/IE). All versions of Stata will allow users to pull select variables into Stata from a dataset with more variables than it could read at once. You can identify the variables you would like to use by searching or browsing for your items of interest on the Search page under the Harmonized Data tab, or you can download and search through the codebook that accompanies the Harmonized dataset on the Get Data page under the Harmonized Data tab. You can create a smaller dataset for your personal use by updating the variable names, filepath, and dataset name in the following Stata code:
use variable1 variable2 variable3 using "filepath\H_dataset.dta"
It is very simple to merge the Harmonized datasets with the original study data using the unique identifiers employed by the study. You can identify the variables from the original study data you would like to use by searching or browsing for your items of interest on the Search page under the Health & Retirement Studies tab, or you can look through the original survey questionnaire or datasets. In Stata, you can merge in these original survey variables with the Harmonized data using the following Stata code:
merge 1:1 studyID using "filepath\dataset_name.dta", keepusing(variable1 variable2 variable3)
It is important to remember that all Harmonized datasets are individual-level, where each record is one person, but original survey data files can also be couple, household, community, or child-level datasets. All possible identifiers from each study are kept as part of the Harmonized dataset to allow for the merge with original survey datafiles which are not necessarily also individual-level. If the original survey dataset is not individual-level, then you will need to change the merge from 1:1 to m:1, 1:m, or m:m and use the appropriate identifier rather than the unique individual identifier. This method would also work when merging variables between the Harmonized HRS, RAND HRS, and RAND HRS Family datasets.
For our purposes, the RAND HRS can be thought of as the original harmonized dataset for the HRS, which was created and is maintained at the RAND Corporation. The Harmonized HRS is different from the RAND HRS because it contains variables that the RAND HRS doesn't include. As we have worked on the different Harmonized datasets and heard from researchers and users, we became aware that there were many potential HRS variables that would be helpful, but that weren't created for the RAND HRS. To address this opportunity, we created these new variables for the HRS and released them in the Harmonized HRS.
We, at the Gateway to Global Aging Data, have built our other Harmonized datasets (Harmonized MHAS, ELSA, SHARE, CRELES, KLoSA, JSTAR, TILDA, CHARLS, LASI, MARS) using the RAND HRS and Harmonized HRS as the models and basis for comparison (as you can see in the Harmonized codebooks, we have a section for each group of variables titled "Differences with the RAND HRS/Harmonized HRS"). As such, the variables in our Harmonized datasets have been created to be comparable with the similarly named variables in the RAND HRS and Harmonized HRS wherever possible. If there are differences in how the Harmonized variable was created or if the variables are similar but not strictly comparable, we explain that in each Harmonized codebook.
We provide thousands of publications using various Health & Retirement Studies on the Gateway website. To access all those publications, please see our Publications page under the Additional Resources tab. This page will allow you to search any available publications from 1993 to 2022 by specific topic, keyword, and study. If there is a recent publication using the HRS studies you would like us to include, please write to us at email@example.com.
We have chronicled all of our webinars and presentations since December of 2016. To access the slides, videos, and code from previous webinars and presentations, please refer to the Webinars & Presentations page under the Additional Resources tab. Additionally, you can use the Webinars & Presentations page to view and register for upcoming webinars and presentations.
We are constantly making content updates to the Gateway and try our best to inform our users when new data or documentation becomes available. You can view all recent Announcements & Data Updates under our Additional Resources tab.
To make sure you don't miss any of our future data releases, you should click on the person icon at the top right of any page, click on My Profile, and make sure that the box for "Data Alerts" is checked. You will then receive an email when we release new datasets and update existing datasets. For any additional information regarding Gateway-affiliated events (e.g., seminars, webinars, conferences, Hackathon), data releases, and publications, please follow us on our Twitter page. If you are unsure whether the dataset or information you are using is the most updated version, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.