The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) -- Israel, 2005-2006 (ICPSR 22160)

Published: Nov 21, 2008

Principal Investigator(s):
Howard Litwin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare

Version V2

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of individuals aged 50 or over which was designed after the role models of the United States Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

SHARE-Israel was added to the collection during 2005 and 2006 and required a complex adaptation of the SHARE survey instruments for implementation in Israel. In order to access the three major population groups that make up Israeli society, veteran Jewish-Israelis, Arab-Israelis and new immigrants from the former Soviet Union after 1989, it was necessary to translate the CAPI questionnaire and the drop off questionnaire into Hebrew, Arabic and Russian.

Data collected include health variables (e.g., self-reported health, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, health behavior, use of health care facilities), psychological variables (e.g., psychological health, well-being, life satisfaction), economic variables such as (current work activity, job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing, education), and social support variables (e.g., assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks, volunteer activities).

Two physical performance measures were also employed. The first was grip strength, the respondent's maximum handgrip strength measured by means of a dynamometer. The second physical performance measure was walking speed, which was asked only of persons aged 75 and older. This physical measurement involved asking the respondent to walk a certain distance and measuring the time it took for the respondent to complete the task.

Unique to SHARE-Israel were questions in the drop-off questionnaire regarding trauma. Respondents were asked about difficult life events that they had experienced and the degree to which they were affected by them. The events were drawn from the following areas (1) having personally suffered injury in war, in a terrorist attack, a grave illness or accident, (2) having witnessed injury or death in war, in a terrorist attack, and/or in an accident or crime, (3) having been a victim of crime, abuse, sexual harassment and/or severe economic adversity, (4) having had a close person injured or lost due to war, a terrorist attack, accident or grave illness, (5) loss of spouse and/or offspring, and (6) having provided or received long term care due to functional disability. A separate inventory chronicled respondents' exposure to the Holocaust.

Also included in the drop-off questionnaire were questions regarding pension reform: which addressed respondents' awareness of the legislated delay in the age of eligibility for retirement pension in Israel, (for men, age 67 and for women, age 64). It also inquired about implications of the change in pension age, information regarding personal plans for employment or retirement in light of the change, and sources of income that would be used to bridge the period between retirement and receipt of pension, if early retirement was contemplated. Full details regarding SHARE can be located at the SHARE Web site.

Litwin, Howard. The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) -- Israel, 2005-2006. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-11-21.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R21-AG2516901)

2005 -- 2006


Probability sample.

Final sample of eligible households was 2,586 with 1,771 households being interviewed.

survey data



2008-11-21 Data and documentation have been updated.

2008-07-11 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Full details regarding the weight variables are located in the documentation.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).