Information on Laeken indicator values are gained from the European survey on income and liv-ing conditions (EU-SILC). Due to the fact that only sample information from all member states are available, adequate estimation methods will have to be applied. In order to overcome practical deficiencies of the current methodology, special emphasis has to be put in two interrelated topics:
- Improved estimation procedures for Laeken indicators with respect to rare observations and outliers as well as to small regions and population subgroups or domains of interest;
- Special investigation of parametric estimation methods for income distributions which are the basis of many of the Laeken indicators.
The first topic covers the area of robust statistics and small area estimation theory. By combining robust statistical methodologies with modern small area estimation methodologies, considerable improvement is expected on the quality of the selected Laeken indicators in the areas that are of high political importance.
The second area enables parametric estimation of income distributions, also as a basis of model based theory. The methodology developed in points 1 and 2 will allow for:
- finding alternative and more stable estimates of Laeken indicators as well as of possibly rele-vant poverty and inequality indices,
- stabilizing the non parametric estimates,
- building comparative models between segments (regions and subgroups) of the population,
- and providing improved models and estimation procedures for small area estimation.