Reports , News of 21 June 2013

IAB-SOEP Migration Sample just started

IAB-SOEP Immigration Sample

The Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) research infrastructure at DIW Berlin have entered into a partnership to survey immigrants in Germany. In early summer of 2013, specially trained interviewers from the survey institute TNS Infratest will survey 2,500 households containing at least one person who has immigrated to Germany or has foreign citizenship, or whose parent or parents have immigrated to Germany or have foreign citizenship.

Sample Basis
The sample was drawn based on the Integrated Employment Biographies Sample of the IAB, a dataset comprising all individuals who have been employed in Germany at least once, are registered as unemployed or seeking employment, or who received benefits such as Unemployment Benefit I and II or other similar forms of government assistance. The selection procedure provides comprehensive representation of members of the labor force with an immigration background and their family members in Germany. The first wave of the IAB-SOEP immigration sample will be released to the research community in late summer of 2014 for secondary analysis.

The questionnaire, which is answered by all adults in the household, comprises all core questions that have been part of the SOEP study for the last three decades. Beyond this, the survey also covers each respondent’s complete immigration history, education and training completed in Germany and abroad, employment history in Germany and other countries, and numerous aspects of the cultural and living environments that are relevant to the social integration of immigrants.

Oversampling of certain immigrant groups
Certain nationalities are given special consideration in the IAB-SOEP Immigration Sample: it includes an above-average percentage of households containing immigrants from Poland, Romania, the CIS countries, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, and the countries of Europe (Italy, Spain, Greece) as well as Arab or predominantly Muslim countries.

For a randomized percentage of the households, we plan to link the survey data—upon obtaining the permission of the individuals affected—with information from the Integrated Employment Biographies. This will create a new source of data for scientific use that brings together the comprehensive information of a household survey with the precise labor market information of the social insurance data. In adherence to strict data protection and privacy regulations, this unique new database will provide precise labor market information from the social insurance system in fully anonymized form. This additional project using innovations in survey methodology and entitled “SOEP-RECLINK“ will receive three years of funding under the Leibniz Association’s Pact for Research and Innovation (Director: Martin Kroh).

SOEP subsample

The survey data will be integrated into the SOEP as a subsample. The SOEP already included an oversampling of “guest workers” in Germany in the 1984 household survey “Living in Germany” and has expanded this sample numerous times since then. The new IAB-SOEP Immigration Sample will be the most significant increase of immigrants in the thirty-year history of the SOEP.


The IAB-SOEP Immigration Sample has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Employment Agency, and by federal and Länder governments under the auspices of the Leibniz Association. Herbert Brücker from the IAB in Nuremberg and Jürgen Schupp from DIW Berlin are scientific directors of the project.