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Institute for Micro Data - MiDa

The MiDa Institute undertakes projects that support and coordinate the collection and use of micro data to promote and inform policy making, strategic business development, and academic research. Micro Data is a crucial building block to the understanding and improvement of our society and economy through the study of individual human behavior. Micro Data is also instrumental to an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on other fields such as sociology, psychology and medicine.

Micro data is pervasive in today’s society. People share information on social media that provides an unprecedented amount of data on every aspect of their lives. Their personal and professional connections, their consumer preferences and political opinions, their finances and health are all stored and accessed by a handful of internet companies, whose value is a testament of the importance and worth of the data collected.

At the same time, an increasing number of countries are streamlining and improving their public services by collecting and cross-merging health, property and tax registries. As a result, health services are provided and distributed at an increasing level of efficiency. Central banks are better able to appropriately measure the pulse of the economy across all its sectors and social strata. This is now necessary for policy, as the great recession of 07-09 painfully showed. Thanks to micro data, governments are in the position of making use of taxpayer money much more effectively, as shown by the impact of the JP Morgan-Chase Institute on the US covid relief program.

Against this valley of opportunities, the collection of micro data presents society with challenges as well. New laws and regulations are being designed and put in place to deal with the confidentiality risks that these type of data poses. The established way forward is however not whether the data should be collected and used, but how. Sweden is blessed with unique micro data collection and has the opportunity of being at the very forefront of this revolution.