Director of Labour Economics and Social Policy, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne
As an economist I am one of the many researchers in Australia making enthusiastic use of the HILDA data.
Until the HILDA study, we only had information about people at one point in time.
Although this can be useful, the introduction of the HILDA data opened up a new set of questions we can answer, because outcomes for individuals are observed for many years in a row. For example, the question whether individuals on low incomes, remain on a low income year after year. If there is a group of individuals who are persistently poor, we can now investigate who they are and perhaps even uncover the underlying reasons to their poverty. This knowledge can be the key to better policies assisting Australians to escape poverty or at the very least alleviate the effects of poverty.
The HILDA data are a tremendous resource to researchers and policy makers. The quality of the data rivals that of several long-running comparable longitudinal studies in other countries.
First and foremost this is thanks to the many respondents who continue to provide information year after year. The knowledge of being a part of this important contribution to improving life in Australia should fill all participants with pride, and I am extremely thankful to everyone involved.
Director of Labour Economics and Social Policy
Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
University of Melbourne