One-stop service for Nordic corporate microdata

In December 2022, a new NeIC development project was introduced. The Nordic Microdata Database (NMD) project works towards creating a one-stop service for researchers to use Nordic corporate microdata. Corporate microdata in this context means company-level data that is linkable through a unique company identifier which allows research to be done at company level rather than for example industry level. Partners in the project are Aalto University in Finland, Copenhagen School of Business in Denmark, Norwegian School of Economics in Norway, and Research Institute for Industrial Economics and Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden. The project will run until the end of November 2024.

Unlike most projects facilitated by NeIC, NMD was not initiated through a project call. Instead, the initiative stems from a need recognised by the Nordic Council of Ministers: after decades of national efforts in the field, a joint Nordic database would increase the efficiency as well as benefits of research. According to Tomasz Malkiewicz, Executive manager and the project owner at NeIC, the project is a good example of a swift and efficient response to the need of setting up a Nordic collaboration in a new emerging field. Funding for the project comes from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The results of Nordic Microdata Database will enable researchers to conduct more high-quality research into policy-relevant questions in economics and finance. This will in turn contribute to an improved research and policy-making landscape in the Nordic Region. The project will also contribute towards similar goals with regard to household and individual microdata.

The project is now at its midway point, and project manager Antti Valkonen from Aalto University reports that despite a slightly delayed start due to staffing issues, work is now moving ahead. Important tasks mapping data sources and offers are underway, and consensus is building regarding the shape of services needed.

ā€“ For the driving forces of NMD, the academics and specifically economists, these kinds of infrastructure projects are well out of their comfort zone. There has been perhaps some inertia due to this, but Iā€™m glad that the support from all stakeholders remains as strong as ever. I am confident that the outcome will be well worth the effort, Valkonen says.

ā€“ The fact that NeIC was chosen to facilitate this project shows that NeIC is trusted to implement significant Nordic initiatives in a professional and timely manner, Malkiewicz concludes.

The Business case document for Nordic Microdata Database can be read here.