Research Data Center Ruhr at the RWI


Data Center

FDZ Ruhr undertakes surveys by itself, collects macro data for employees of RWI, provides small-scaled georeferenced data and provides (micro-) data for external researches. Its employees conceptualize and undertake surveys for different research projects of RWI, including online surveys as well as the acquisition and preparation of paper-and-pencil questionnaires.

In the field of macro data FDZ Ruhr collects data of e.g. the statistical offices, Eurostat or OECD. These are further processed (e.g. price indices, growth rates) and made available to RWI staff. Furthermore, data are collected and compiled individually by request.

In addition, FDZ Ruhr georeferences data from external providers (internet portals or other data generators) in order to be usable for regional econometric analyses. Thereby, the data can be combined on raster level, on zip code level or on higher level so that they can be combined with other data sets.

In the field of micro data FDZ Ruhr prepares and anonymizes data so that they can be provided as Scientific Use Files or as weakly anonymized datasets to external researches. These data are documented in data descriptions.

FDZ Ruhr registers all datasets that are externally accessible via a DOI-number for citation purposes. In addition, FDZ Ruhr has a Secure Room in which up to four scientists at the same time can work with weakly anonymized data. Moreover, guest workstations are offered.

Main research

Besides the data center service activities, FDZ Ruhr staff also conduct own research. Free research projects are often carried out in cooperation with employees from different RWI research departments. This is mainly for regional econometric research questions and large data sets (especially European data or property data) as well as new econometric methods.

In the field of regional econometric research the main focus is on the influence of the neighborhood or rather the surroundings on individuals and housing prices. These analyzes started with the project Neighborhood effects and continued since then. In addition, it is examined in how far administrative borders reflect the actual distribution of characteristics (e.g. population) and how neighboring regions affect each other.

Large data sets obtain an increasingly important role because of improved computer capacities and the availability of internet data. For this reason, methods to handle large data sets are investigated, applied and further developed at FDZ Ruhr.