Call for Papers for 2008 General Conference



    IARIW 30th General Conference

    Slovenia, August 24-30, 2008

    The conference consists of sessions with themes selected in advance by the IARIW Council (see below), submitted paper sessions, and poster sessions. Submissions are invited for the main thematic and submitted paper sessions. The deadline for receipt of proposals is August 31, 2007.

    The topics and organisers of the main thematic sessions are given below. Persons interested in submitting a paper to be considered for any of these sessions should send an outline or abstract of the proposed paper, by email to both (a) the appropriate session organiser(s), and (b) the conference programme committee at

    Authors who wish to contribute papers with content that does not fit into one of the main session topics below should email their outline or abstract of the proposed paper to the conference programme committee at Accepted papers will be organised into one of the submitted papers sessions by the conference programme committee. For these sessions, papers are sought in all fields of interest to the IARIW, i.e. all papers that advance knowledge about income and wealth. Submissions in the following fields are particularly encouraged: input-output tables, theory and practice; PPPs; satellite accounts for non-profit institutions; and reconciling macro and micro statistics. The conference programme committee will aim to group papers into coherent subject topics.

    The main thematic and submitted paper sessions will have the same format: a formal session chair will be appointed, the paper will be presented by a discussant nominated in advance and, after discussion from the floor, the author(s) will be able to respond to comments.

    Papers not accepted for a main thematic session or a submitted papers session, but deemed appropriate for IARIW conference presentation, may be selected for presentation in a poster session.

    Financial support to cover travel and accomodation expenses will be available for a number of papergivers on a needs basis. IARIW members will be able to apply for such assistance once their paper is accepted. Information on this financial assistance program for papergivers will be provided in the acceptance letters.

    For general information about IARIW conferences, please see

    Plenary Session 1. Measuring and Monitoring Economic Well-being in Times of Rapid Change

    Stephen P. Jenkins, University of Essex, UK.
    John Micklewright, University of Southampton, UK.

    When a country undergoes rapid change, the income and wealth of its citizens are often subject to substantial adjustment. One major source of change is a fundamental transformation in the economic and financial system, notably from a planned to a market economy, something experienced by a range of countries during the last two decades particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. This session seeks papers considering the implications of systemic economic transformation for the measurement and monitoring of economic well-being in these countries.

    Both macro- and micro-orientated papers are encouraged. Papers might focus on household income including any of the components such as individual earnings or state benefits, on financial assets, or on employment and unemployment, or on labour mobility of various kinds. Prices might also be the focus, since price measurement is vital to understanding real income changes. Papers might concentrate on the tools required for measurement and monitoring, including issues relating to national accounts, household surveys or administrative registers. Or they could provide examples of good practice based on the use of existing tools to comment on the measurement, monitoring and management of adjustment. Papers might focus on a single country to illustrate the issues under investigation, or compare the experience of a number of countries. Although our preference is for papers addressing the implications of the changes associated with economic transformation, papers addressing other types of substantial socioeconomic change will also be considered.

    Parallel Session 2A. Pension Issues in Ageing Societies

    Asghar Zaidi, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Austria.
    Marshall Reinsdorf, Bureau of Economic Analysis, USA.

    In many countries ageing of the population has increased the importance of pensions and social security both as a source of income security for individuals and as a financial burden on the employers and governments responsible for the funding of these schemes. Indeed, the increasing strain of meeting pension and social security obligations has made reforms unavoidable in a number of cases.

    This session addresses two related topics: (1) the definition and estimation of actuarial measures of pension wealth and income for participants in defined benefit pension plans, and of corresponding liabilities for sponsors of these plans; and (2) analyses of the effects on retirement incomes of pension and social security reforms undertaken or proposed to date. For plan sponsors, these effects often involve macroeconomic questions such as the resolution of actual or projected fiscal imbalances and the strengthening of national saving and capital formation, while for plan participants these effects often involve microeconomic questions such as income redistribution and income adequacy in old age. Links between macro- and microeconomic perspectives are of particular interest; for example, actuarial measures of the liabilities and assets of an old age income scheme might reveal the need for an eventual restructuring that could potentially include elements with adverse effects on retirees.

    Examples of important questions for the topic of actuarial measures of pension wealth/liabilities are: how should actuarial measures of defined benefit retirement schemes be defined, and how should these measures, along with any underfunding or overfunding of plan reserves, be included in national accounts? What distinction, if any, should be made between funded and unfunded pension schemes? Should social security schemes be included in actuarial measures of plan sponsors’ liabilities, and if so, how? Can we expect increasing numbers of retirees to cause rises in costs that will require painful adjustments by sponsors of unfunded or underfunded plans or by plan beneficiaries?

    Examples of important questions for the topic of pension and social security reforms are: how should we account for restructurings of pension or social security plans in national accounts? What are the actual or projected effects on the income distribution, or the incidence of income inadequacy for current and future retirees? Do actuarial measures indicate that the future presence of a solid imbalances or restructuring need for eventual? Will they succeed in resolving fiscal imbalances?

    Parallel Session 2B. Economic Mobility and Vulnerability

    Timothy M. Smeeding, Syracuse University, USA.
    Stephan Klasen, Göttingen University, Germany.

    Societies of all types (rich and developed, transition, less-developed) are increasingly interested in how one generation fares economically relative to the one that preceded it , and in how each generation fares over its economic life course. There is specific concern with downward mobility or insecurity/vulnerability, compared to upward mobility.

    In this session we seek conceptual and empirical papers that consider ways to measure and interpret mobility and vulnerability; empirical studies that describe patterns of intergenerational and intragenerational mobility, both upward and downward; papers that try to identify the transmission channels through which these changes occur (economic, demographic or social); and papers that address the policies that are in place to limit vulnerability (income support programmes) and/or to promote upward mobility (such as education programmes).

    Plenary Session 3. Measurement of Knowledge and Intangible Capital

    Bart von Ark, Groningen University, The Netherlands.

    The value of companies and the net worth of economies are increasingly determined by intangible capital and yet the measurement of such capital is still in its infancy. Several authors stress inherent measurement difficulties which go beyond those of tangible capital. Despite current plans for the national accounts to extend the measurement of intangible fixed assets (computer software, mineral exploration, entertainment, literary or artistic originals) to also include research and development, there are still many unresolved research questions. As a result, national accountants and other practioners do not have a very good compass with which to navigate when capitalizing R&D and other intangibles.

    For example, a key issue in the area of R&D capital measurement concerns the conceptualization of its output from R&D. Most R&D is performed on own account, its outcome is highly uncertain and it hardly generates direct income flows. It is therefore questionable whether the practice of valuing R&D on the basis of its production costs leads to usable measures of the R&D stock and its capital services. Another issue is the determination of the ownership of R&D and other knowledge capital. A substantial part of R&D is performed in the public domain. Should this R&D be acknowledged as capital when ownership (in the SNA sense) cannot be identified? R&D capital is also heavily entangled with other types of intangible capital, including software originals, human capital, etc., and it is inherently difficult to distinguish the values of these different inputs.

    It is obvious that the issues mentioned relate not only to R&D, but also to other types of intangible capital, such as human capital, trademarks and marketing assets. For this session papers are invited that approach the issue of measuring and analyzing intangible capital from these different perspectives. We seek a balance between theoretical/conceptual papers and empirical work, as well as between micro and macro approaches to the overall topic.

    Parallel Session 4A. Global and National Flows of People and Jobs

    Lars Osberg, Dalhousie University, Canada.
    Peter van de Ven, Statistics Netherlands.

    In many developed nations, governments are concerned both with persistently high unemployment rates and about a future with a shrinking and ageing (potential) labour force. As jobs flow to low-wage jurisdictions and come and go between sectors, and as people move between nations and jobs, there are also new anxieties among many workers about the implications of a possible ‘globalization’ of world labour markets.

    This session is devoted to statistics and research on labour market flows. Most national statistical systems provide rich, timely and well-documented data on traditional labour market stocks (e.g. the employed and unemployed labour force). Accurate data on number of jobs, labour volume, compensation, etc. are essential for estimates of macro-economic productivity and output. However, there is continuing concern that trends in the growth of ‘non-standard employment’ and self-employment are undermining the meaningfulness of traditional labour force categorizations. Possible changes in underlying flow dynamics are crucial to interpreting labour market data, but these flows – such as the transition from non-participation to employment – are contingent on changing technologies (such as internet job search) and evolving institutions (such as sub-contracting labour services). In developing countries, massive movements of labour are occurring in a social and demographic context which makes some issues (such as the measurement and interpretation of the ‘informal’ production sector) much more important than in developed nations. As well, data on trans-national flows are far less available than national stock data.

    In all these cases, labour statistics are indispensable for the formulation and evaluation of public policies – but which statistics are needed? Which conceptual categories can be meaningfully compared, over time and space? Which are most fruitful for policy analysis? What implications could be drawn from new methods of data collection and analysis?

    Contributions to this session could, for example, focus on analyses and methodological issues in relation to mobility between labour market statuses, the creation, destruction and export/import of jobs, global patterns of mobility, etc.

    Parallel Session 4B. Accounting for Time

    Andrew Harvey, Saint Mary’s University, Canada.
    Michael Wolfson, Statistics Canada, Canada.

    In developed societies, time is the scarcest resource for many people. Although the nature and role of time as a household resource has received attention, the conventional economic paradigm, with limited exceptions, virtually ignores patterns of time use. Micro and macro papers advancing our understanding of the role, use and value of time are invited for this session.

    We seek papers that develop topics considered at earlier conferences, for example, the development of socio-economic accounts, aggregate time accounts, the measurement and valuation of unpaid work, measurement of time poverty, the relevance of timing, joint use of time, and inter-generational transfers of time. Examples of additional topics for which we also seek papers include: the need for activity classification criteria with respect to time used for production, consumption and investment; a better understanding of labor allocation and work arrangements; the economic importance of activity timing, sequence and duration; time-use cycles and their effect on production and daily living; trading and investing time; modeling time; and time use indicators.

    Since data about time can facilitate the imaginative integration of other kinds of socio-economic data required for grounded research, analysis, and policy formulation, papers which explore the integration and application of a broad range of temporal and related data will be particularly welcome. Preference will be given to papers that are novel in terms of the data sets used, or the concepts and methods used in the analysis; that involve international comparisons; that bridge micro and macro aspects of socio-economic accounting; or that explore the joint distributions of time use patterns with other socio-economic characteristics.

    Plenary Session 5. Reconciliation of Micro and Macro Aspects of the Household Sector in the National Accounts Framework

    Jacques Bournay, INSEE, France.
    Ruth Meier, Federal Statistical Office, Switzerland.

    The economics of household behaviour is an important issue from both a macro and micro perspective. In many countries, a number of household surveys exist in parallel, each focusing on different aspects of household behaviour (e.g. income, consumption, wealth). Usually the information for the different aspects is reported separately as the surveys were established in order to respond to specific analytical requests. Therefore a vast variety of information on household behaviour exists, but it is rare to find a consistent framework available at the micro level that links the information. How then might the various aspects of household behaviour be brought together and within a framework that allows consistent analysis of poverty, housing, and education and so on in all their dimensions? This session seeks papers from the micro perspective concerning the reconciliation of various independent surveys into an overall information system - how to deal with varying sample designs, survey techniques, variable definitions, etc.

    At the macro level - and especially in the consistent and integrated framework of National Accounts - information about household behaviour is often far too aggregated. Therefore economic analysis of, for example, the impacts of aging societies on public expenditures or health systems, relations between income distribution, education and social welfare, the link between taxes and consumption, and so on, is in many countries missing or only partially available. Hence the session seeks papers from the macro perspective concerning how to specify household-sub-categories (for instance by socio-economic positions or by decile groups of income) in the National Accounts framework, and how to identify their specific behaviour in general macroeconomic analysis.

    The session also aims to focus on the topic of the integration of micro data in the macro statistical system. Therefore the session also seeks papers dealing with specific aspects, problems and solutions on how to reconcile micro survey results with the National Accounts System.The general aim of the session will be to discuss papers that not only give a better interpretation of the surveys themselves and their integration into the National Accounts calculations, but it should also allow for a discussion on National Accounts aspects and mainly figures (for instance the consistency of the property income with the distribution of wealth) that might have to be reconsidered in the future

    Parallel Session 6A. Measurement Issues in Health Care

    Thesia Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA.
    Mattia Makovec, Alicante University, Spain.

    Statistical measurement of health and health care continues to challenge statisticians and researchers, both macro and micro, nationally as well as internationally. Differences in levels of living are intrinsically and instrumentally related to health and health care. Because of the importance of health in economic well-being measurement, major concerns of health care and rising health care costs, and the efficacy of various interventions, there is a major need for effective approaches to develop information on health and health care more generally and health statistics in particular. In making international comparisons at the micro level, the treatment of public versus private provision of health insurance and health care services present particular challenges for researchers making comparisons of economic well-being, and also have implications for the production of equivalence scales particularly when the needs of the elderly are considered.

    Topics to be addressed in this session include but are not limited to the following: trends in levels and distributions of health status; measurements of health inequality, and inequality of economic well-being where aspects of health and/or health care are taken explicitly into account; methods to value health, the provision of and access to health care, and health insurance in economic well-being measurement; analyses of the provision of health care at the patient level that assess effects on health (i.e., health outcomes) for representative populations, and distributions of health outcomes within these populations by important factors such as income; methods to adjust distributional and poverty measures for differences in quality (e.g., advances in medical technology, the provision of and access to health care, increases in life expectancy and decreases in morbidity); development of health or medical care risk indexes for use in distributional and poverty measurement; development of equivalence scales that account for health care needs; the effects of income deprivation on access to health care services; and the effects of health care reform. Papers that focus on micro approaches will be given priority.

    Parallel Session 6B. Regional Measurement and Small Area Estimation

    Ann Harding, University of Canberra, Australia.
    Dennis Sullivan, Miami University Ohio, USA.

    This session takes as its starting point the principle that ‘space matters’ when measuring economic well-being and summary measures of inequality, poverty and so on that summarize aspects of the distribution of well-being. Debates about the measurement and analysis of economic well-being usually assume that key variables and benchmarks (such as ‘income’ and the poverty line) for respondents within one region within a country are comparable with the variables and benchmarks for respondents from every other region - and hence that summary statistics of, for example, inequality and poverty, can be derived for the country as a whole. However, there can be profound differences in the geography of economic well-being within countries that create conceptual conundrums for both measurement and modeling. For example, any measure of well-being that is based on or derived from equivalent real income or consumption will require that adjustment be made for regional differences in cost-of-living and perhaps also in equivalence scales or poverty lines - but there is no consensus about the preferred methods for making these adjustments.

    This session seeks papers that present research that either delves below the national level or that treats nations as ‘small areas’ within a supra-national framework. Such research might focus on methodological advances in the measurement of levels or differences in well-being at the regional or small area level to permit valid comparative analysis. A second line of research might focus on the differences in real income or poverty or income inequality between and within areas that are defined by boundaries other than national borders. A third area of research might involve advances in the modelling techniques that permit aggregation or disaggregation and that take account of interactions and spillovers among regions or other small areas. A fourth potential topic area is the creation and application of synthetic small area household microdata (known in the literature as ‘synthetic estimation’ or ‘spatial microsimulation’.) Such synthetic data offer the possibility of providing more detail about the characteristics and economic well being of households living in subregions than can normally be derived from national sample surveys. For all four topic areas, both theoretical or empirical papers are sought, with preference given to those that combine analysis of principles with real-world applications.

    Parallel Session 7A. Measurement of Non-Market Services: Outputs and Outcomes

    André Vanoli, INSEE, France. .
    Ole Berner, Statistics Denmark, Denmark.

    The increasing interest in the direct output approach for the volume measurement of non-market services of government has drawn attention to the concept of non-market output and the issue of how the outcome consequent on the use of specific services, e.g. health services, might be taken into account when trying to estimate the quality change component of the volume change of outputs. The issue of quality change is a more general one, as it concerns both market and non market services. (It is relevant to goods as well, even though their volume measurement is generally supposed to be easier to measure.)

    The purpose of this session is to investigate more deeply the concept of non-market output and the various facets of the rather complex relationship between outputs and outcomes in the field of services. Admittedly the concept of outcome, a newcomer in economic accounting, is fuzzier than the concept of output. A number of questions therefore arise, and which might be addressed by papers in this session.

    For example, is the distinction between outputs as results of production processes and outcomes as results of utilization processes generally relevant and useful? Where does the borderline between these two phases lie, especially in the case of services that result in direct changes to individuals? Is it the case, as some people have argued, that the distinction is infeasible and outputs are not measurable separately from outcomes in the case of certain types of services, so that the measure of outputs comes back to the measure of the outcomes themselves? A potentially more promising approach, while keeping a clear distinction between outputs and outcomes, might take into account certain aspects of outcomes in estimating the quality change of service outputs in terms of changes in performances. Performances are connected with both the characteristics of the products and the results that can be expected from using them. What are the characteristics that are relevant in the case of services as compared to those that are relevant in the case of equipment goods and consumption goods? Outputs and outcomes should not be confused. Outcomes often, but not always, take the form of changes in states (health state, education state, security state, etc.) and result from the effects of various factors, both economic ones in the SNA sense and non-economic ones. How might one distinguish the relative shares of these factors? If the idea of using certain aspects of outcomes as estimates of quality changes of outputs is accepted, might one be tempted to introduce a similar approach for the current value measurement of the output of non-market services? What would be the implications of such an idea?

    Papers for this session might focus on specific types of services or fields of social concern, or compare and contrast issues arising in several areas.

    Parallel Session 7B. Measuring Wellbeing: Multiple Dimensions, Objective and Subjective Perspectives

    Andrea Brandolini, Bank of Italy, .
    Conchita D’Ambrosio, University of Milan Biccoca, Italy. .

    The aim of this session is to discuss two recent strands of research in the measurement of wellbeing. The ‘capability approach’ developed by Sen has broadened the concept of wellbeing to include non-monetary dimensions of the quality of life (e.g. health, education, housing, participation in the social life, etc.) as well as to allow for individual freedom. As wellbeing is recognised as a multidimensional concept, several problems arise: the identification of relevant dimensions, the construction of corresponding indicators and the understanding of their metrics, the aggregation of various dimensions into a single measure of wellbeing. Debate is also open on the ways to incorporate freedom into the analysis. The second strand of research, the ‘happiness approach’, has focused on the perception that people have of their own wellbeing. The low correlation between self-reported wellbeing and own income, found for instance by Easterlin for the United States, suggests a role for factors other than own income. Relative standing is important: persons compare themselves to neighbours, colleagues, and, more generally, to a reference group, and it matters where they perceive themselves in the social hierarchy. Both approaches share the view that own income is too narrow measure of individual wellbeing, and have common themes: subjective indicators can play a role also in the capability approach; the measurement of satisfaction can encompass different domains in the happiness approach. On the other hand, they emphasise different facets of a broadened notion of wellbeing and have different theoretical foundations.

    We invite submissions of papers on measuring capabilities and multidimensional wellbeing, happiness and self-perceived wellbeing, their determinants, and the implications for individual behaviour and public policies. We seek papers contributing to the understanding of interdependencies and differences in these notions of wellbeing. The contributions could be both theoretical and empirical, focused on a single country or a comparison of countries.

    Parallel Session 8A. Macro Indicators of Wellbeing

    Mark de Haan, Statistics Netherlands, The .
    Andrew Sharpe, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, Canada.

    There is currently great interest in developing new indices and new accounting frameworks for the measurement of wellbeing in economic, social and environmental contexts. The objectives of this session are to feature new work in these areas, to take stock of the insights obtained from different approaches to the macro-economic measurement of well-being, and to highlight the lessons learned.

    We seek papers that develop innovative measures of wellbeing, including both composite indexes and sets of indicators. Papers may focus on the economic, social, or environmental dimension of wellbeing, or may combine two or all of these dimensions. We are also interested in papers that explore methodological issues associated with the construction of measures of wellbeing, such as choice of domains and indicators, aggregation and weighting procedures, advantages and disadvantages of composite indexes relative to sets of indicators, and procedures for the monetarization of non-monetary variables.

    We also seek papers developing or applying accounting frameworks for compiling macroeconomic measures of wellbeing, or addressing methodological issues (since without such frameworks, the analytical strength of indicator sets and composite indexes seems limited). Papers might consider the usefulness of integrated accounting approaches for detecting inter-relationships (trade-offs) between the various domains of wellbeing. (The System of Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA) is arguably the most developed example of such an approach.). Papers might answer questions such as: what the most useful aggregates that might be derived from such accounting systems for detecting interrelationships between the economic, social and environmental domains of wellbeing?

    Parallel Session 8B. The Top of the Distribution

    Markus Jäntti, Åbo Akademi University, Finland. .
    Eva Sierminska, Luxembourg Wealth Study, Luxembourg.

    The evolution of incomes and wealth at the top of the distribution over long periods of time has received substantial attention in recent years. Concentration at the top of the distribution can be important, as it may reflect both how increased inequalities are or are not tolerated in societies, and it may help understand changes in policy driven by changes in the concentration of economic resources. Differences in the structure of economic resources at the top of the distribution may also reflect differences in the institutional environment. This session invites submission of papers that investigate what is happening to the top of the distribution of economic resources more generally, including the distribution and structure of wealth, income and wages, as well as subjective measures of wellbeing. Papers that describe trends and investigate the drivers of those changes are particularly welcome. The resources may be measured within repeated cross-sections, or they may be measures of longitudinal economic resources. The use of a variety of sources is encouraged, including surveys, tax records and other sources. The top of the distribution of wealth is of particular interest both across countries and across time within countries. Submissions that examine trends in the top of the distribution of wealth in comparative terms, including the sensitivity of trends to conceptual differences in definitions, are encouraged.


    Barbara Fraumeni, Markus Jäntti, Stephen Jenkins (Chair), Andrew Sharpe (ex officio), and Liv Hobbelstad Simpson.


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