A Sociology Seminar series on questions around big data and data visualisations
Presenter: Heini Väisänen, PhD candidate, Department of Social Policy, LSE
Social scientists need longitudinal data with information of key life-events of individuals in order to better understand human behaviour. However, collecting panel data is expensive and time consuming. Administrative registers have considerable advantages as data sources, since longitudinal and nationally representative studies can be conducted with relatively small costs.
For the past 25 years information regarding Finnish population has been collected on annual basis using administrative registers rather than census. Data from different registers can be linked at individual-level using a unique identification number each permanent resident holds. Evaluation studies confirm that registers are reliable sources of information.
However, ethics regulations limit the information that can be linked from different registers for study purposes. Not everything that is interesting from the point of view of a social scientist is registered (e.g. attitudes, beliefs). Access to these data is often difficult.
I will provide an example of the use of register data by telling about my research “A Life Course Perspective to Abortions in Finland”, which aims to discover how the life course pathways of women having abortions differ from other women, and how these patterns have changed over time for three female birth cohorts.
Dates & times
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