The SDR Master Box version 1.0 is available via Dataverse.

The Data Harmonization project created a database that combines data from various sources. The core of this database are data from international survey projects (see table below): 1721 national samples from 89 waves and 22 projects, covering 142 countries/territories between 1966 and 2013, with over 2.2 million individual respondents. The harmonized variables include: basic socio-demographics (age, gender, education, urban/metropolitan place or residence), protest behavior (participation in demonstrations, signing petitions), trust in political institutions (in the national parliament, legal system, political parties, national government), as well as generalized social trust and interest in politics.

These survey data are complemented with macro-level variables from non-survey sources (see list below) describing the social, economic and political environment (e.g. population, GDP per capita, Freedom House Index, Gini coefficient) measured at the country-year level.

Additionally, we provide two types of methodological control variables:

  1. Quality-control variables on how the data were gathered, described, and recorded refer to the result of evaluating original materials: general survey documentation, specific description of data, and computer data files, respectively. We also evaluate the quality of weights to ensure the representativeness of the survey samples.
  2. Harmonization controls deal with the correspondence between source and target variables. They describe the main differences among the project-specific questionnaire items (source variables) that will be combined across surveys into a common measure (target variable), and how source variables were harmonized (e.g. number of source variables within given national survey, rescaling). These control variables may be used in assessing the inter-survey validity and reliability of the target variables.

The resulting SDR Master Box consists of five data files and corresponding documentation: (1) the master file (MASTER) with individual-level data from cross-national surveys, (2) country-level file (PLUG-COUNTRY), (3) country-year-level file (PLUG-COUNTRY-YEAR), (4) survey-level file (PLUG-SURVEY), and (5) wave-level file (PLUG-WAVE). The MASTER file is the core of the Master Box and contains harmonized target variables, harmonization control variables, as well as flags for non-unique records, non-unique case IDs, and missing case IDs, while the other PLUG files containing contextual data, metadata, and data quality indicators.

In line with its substantive focus, the project pools information from 1721 project*wave*countries (i.e. national samples in all surveys carried out in all waves and in all projects) into a relational database, where harmonization procedures will be applied to select substantive and technical variables. For specifics about the relational database and the process of creating the Master table with harmonized variables see Powałko 2014.


Selected International Survey Projects

Abbr. Survey Project Time span Waves Files Data Sets Cases
AFB Afrobarometer 1999-2009 4 4 66 98942
AMB Americas Barometer 2004-2012 5 1 92 151341
ARB Arab Barometer 2006-2011 2 2 16 19684
ABS Asian Barometer 2001-2011 3 3 30 43691
ASES Asia Europe Survey 2000 1 1 18 18253
CB Caucasus Barometer 2009-2012 4 4 12 24621
CDCEE Consolidation of Democracy in Central & Eastern Europe 1990-2001 2 1 27 28926
CNEP Comparative National Elections Project * 2004-2006 1 8 8 13372
EB Eurobarometer** 1983-2012 7 7 152 138753
EQLS European Quality of Life Survey 2003-2012 3 1 93 105527
ESS European Social Survey 2002-2013 6 2 146 281496
EVS/WVS European Values Study / World Values Survey *** 1981-2009 9 1 312 423084
ISJP International Social Justice Project 1991-1996 2 1 21 25805
ISSP International Social Survey Programme** 1985-2013 13 13 363 493243
LB Latinobarometro 1995-2010 15 15 260 294965
LITS Life in Transition Survey 2006-2010 2 2 64 67866
NBB New Baltic Barometer 1993-2004 6 1 18 21601
PA2 Political Action II **** 1979-1981 1 1 3 4057
PA8NS Political Action – An Eight Nation Study 1973-1976 1 1 8 12588
PPE7N Political Participation and Equality in Seven Nations 1966-1971 1 7 7 16522
VPCPCE Values and Political Change in Postcommunist Europe * 1993 1 5 5 4723
Total 1966-2013 89 81 1721 2289060
* Only post-election samples. ** Only selected waves. *** EVS & WVS are in one row because they share one data file. **** Only cross-sectional samples.Note: The total number of cases refers to all cases in source data files. Data were downloaded in early 2014.


Contextual variables:

Gross Domestic Product per capita

Freedom House (Political Rights and Civil Liberties)


Urbanization level

Urban primacy

Women in Parliament

Worldwide Governance Indicators

Ecomost Intelligence Unit Democracy Index

Gini Index