Life Course, Ageing and Well-Being (LAW)

Department(s)/ Research Infrastructure
German Socio- Economic Panel study
Project Status
Completed Project
Project Duration
since/from 2009 to 2012
Commissioned by
Volkswagen Foundation
Project Manager
Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
Project Team/Contacts at DIW Berlin


The Berlin network composed of DZA, SOEP and DRV-Bund is conducting a joint research project which will run until 2012 dealing with life courses and their effects on the old age provision of baby boomers. This project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation in the program "Individual and Societal Perspectives of Aging" (link to PDF-file).

The biographies of the German Baby boomers (born between 1955 and 1965) are characterized by increasing diversification and inhomogeneity, implying new challenges for old age provision. Persons who belong to these cohorts are now middle-aged, and their pluralistic family, educational and occupational biographies differ from the more homogenous biographies of the present retirees. Under the given conditions, this may have serious consequences for their old age provision.

In order to find solutions for this important social problem, three empirical questions will be investigated in the project.

  • To what extent are the biographies of the present middle-aged generations more pluralistic and inhomogeneous than those of their predecessors?
  • What are the consequences of these changes for the life situation of future generation of retirees, with special attention to the financial cover offered by statutory, private and occupational pensions?
  • How can old age provision be developed in order to include sufficient cover for non-traditional biographies?

In order to answer these questions, the three cooperating institutes DZA, SOEP and DRV-Bund will combine their three longitudinal data sets (Versichertenkontenstichprobe, the German Socio-Economic Panel, and the German Ageing Survey (DEAS)) to form an innovative methodology. The resulting data sets (combining register and survey data) will be analysed interdisciplinarily in order to develop adequate old age provision recommendations.

The researchers involved in the project are (in alphabetical order):


  • Dr. Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
  • Dr. Laura Romeu Gordo
  • Dr. Julia Simonson
  • Prof. Dr. Clemens Tesch-Römer


  • Dr. Markus M. Grabka
  • Anika Rasner
  • Prof. Dr. Gert G. Wagner 


  • Dr. Jürgen Ehler
  • Brigitte Loose
  • Tatjana Mika
  • Uwe G. Rehfeld
  • Dr. Michael Stegmann



Aufsätze in Sammelwerken (2013)

Fortschreibung von Lebensläufen bei Alterssicherungsanalysen: Herausforderungen und Probleme

Markus M. Grabka, Anika Rasner
DIW Wochenbericht (23 / 2012)

Ostdeutsche Männer um 50 müssen mit geringeren Renten rechnen

Julia Simonson, Nadiya Kelle, Laura Romeu Gordo, Markus M. Grabka, Anika Rasner, Christian Westermeier
SOEPpapers (2012)

The Prospects of the Baby Boomers: Methodological Challenges in Projecting the Lives of an Aging Cohort

Christian Westermeier, Anika Rasner, Markus M. Grabka
SOEPpapers (2012)

Familienbiographische Verläufe im Kohortenvergleich

Joachim R. Frick, Markus M. Grabka, Anika Rasner, Marian Schmidt, Morten Schuth, Christian Westermeier