Data distribution  1984-2014 (soep.v31.1i)

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Title: German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), data of the years 1984-2014, International Scientific Use Version

DOI: 10.5684/soep.v31.1i
Collection period: 1984-2014
Publication date: March 18, 2016
Principal investigators: Jürgen Schupp, Jan Goebel, Martin Kroh, Carsten Schröder, Klaudia Erhardt, Alexandra Fedorets, Marco Giesselmann, Markus Grabka, Peter Krause, Simon Kühne, Maximilian Priem, David Richter, Rainer Siegers, Paul Schmelzer, Christian Schmitt, Daniel Schnitzlein, Ingrid Tucci, Knut Wenzig

You can see the complete information by clicking at the DOI of the original data set

Data set information

 Number of units 104,320
 Number of variables 57,670 in 396 data sets
Data formats STATA, SPSS, SAS, CSV

MD5 fingerprints

Distribution format
zip file Einzeldatensätze
Stata bilingual e20486dd3a610b020561557823efa4cc   | TXT, 17.35 KB
Stata German a7db606f29f56442f59cae6f080efee7   | TXT, 17.35 KB
Stata English 4aab19142ae5e88cbceaa1fbbd80a555   | TXT, 17.35 KB
SPSS German 9d8d9a3ffa7eb4bcaebd38c8465a9851   | TXT, 17.35 KB
SPSS English 41521af83a62ead2d9c7f25b9c964e64   | TXT, 17.35 KB
SAS German a05e76377a652f246285491ea70037ea   | TXT, 19.38 KB
SAS English e6f8f6345d1066caa20660ab05dd6fbc | TXT, 19.38 KB
CSV 5c7b2c9fc0d655abd3674f820c8782d5   | TXT, 17.35 KB


Gert G. Wagner, Joachim R. Frick, and Jürgen Schupp (2007): The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) - Scope, Evolution and Enhancements, Schmollers Jahrbuch (Journal of Applied Social Science Studies), 127 (1), 139-169 (download).

Joachim R. Frick, Stephen P. Jenkins, Dean R. Lillard, Oliver Lipps und Mark Wooden (2007): The Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) and its Member Country Household Panel Studies,  Schmollers Jahrbuch, Jg. 127 (4) , 627-654 (download)

Data update

1. Changes due to the Integration of the FiD Study

As you already know, data release v31 includes the complete data from “Familien in Deutschland” (Families in Germany, FiD), which is being retrospectively integrated into the SOEP and made available in user-friendly form to all SOEP users. The survey was carried out in parallel to the SOEP as a so-called “SOEP-related study” from 2010 to 2013.

Starting with Version 31 of the data, the FiD sample has been integrated completely into SOEP-Core—that is, as if it were a new sample drawn as part of SOEP-Core in 2010 and 2011. This means that in the data from 2010 on, SOEP users “automatically” have more cases in their study population without having to make any changes in scripts.

In total, 14,166 variables from 64 datasets have been integrated into the various SOEP datasets, and the generated datasets or variables have been adjusted. Variables in the FiD survey instruments that were not contained in the corresponding SOEP survey instruments have been included in the respective datasets as additional variables (with the original FiD variable names starting with “fyy”, where “yy” is a two-digit year identifier).

1.1. Household questionnaire:

  • BAH: bah4904, bah4905, bah4906, bah5004, bah5005, f10h042b1_koho, f10h042b2_koho, f10h042b3_koho, f10h044b1_koho, f10h044b2_koho, sample1
  • BBH: bbh20, bbh42,  bbh4510,  sample1
  • BCH: sample1

1.2. Individual questionnaire:

  • BBP: bbp10502, bbp10503, bbp12601, bbp12602, bbp12603, bbp13113, sample1
  • BCP: bcp80a01, bcp80a02, bcp80a03, bcp80a04, bcp80b01, bcp80b02, bcp80b03, bcp80b04, bcp80c01, bcp80c02, bcp80c03, bcp80d01, bcp80d02, bcp80e01, bcp80e02, bcp80h01, bcp80h02, bcp80h03, bcp80q01, bcp80q02, bcp80j01, bcp80j02, bcp80j03, bcp80k01, bcp80k02, bcp80k03, bcp80l01, bcp80l02, bcp80l03, bcp80m01, bcp80m02, bcp80o01, bcp80o02, bcp80p01, sample1
    • BDP: bdp62, bdp78, bdp98h03, bdp98l01, bdp98l02, bdp98l03, bdp98m01, bdp98m02, bdp98o01, bdp98o02, bdp98p01, bdp13315, bdp15719, bdp15720, bdp15721, bdp15722, bdp15723, bdp15724, bdp15725, bdp15726, bdp15727, bdp15728, bdp15729, bdp15730, bdp15731, bdp15732, bdp15733, sample1

1.3. Derived calendar information

We were able to integrate additional variables in the calendar files: This applies to the variables on military or community service as well as alimony or child support. The affected variables are:

  • b[a-d]p1h01
  • b[a-d]p2s0[1-3]
  • b[a-d]p2t0[1-3]

1.4. B[A-D]HBRUTTO: Household gross data

The variables containing the BBSR spatial planning category, differentiating between rural and urban regions, are updated and generated for the additional FiD cases. The affected variables are:

  • b[a-d]regtyp

1.5. KIND/KIDLONG: Person-related variables on children (up to the age of 16) within the household

    The identifiers data for mother, mother’s partner, as well as household head and household head’s partner from FiD had not been integrated. These have now been corrected so that the data can be linked for the FiD cases as well. Affected variables for the FiD cases are
    • b[a-d]kmutti: Pointer to mother
    • b[a-d]kmup: Pointer to partner of mother
    • b[a-d]khv: Pointer to head of household
    • b[a-d]khvp: Pointer to partner of head of household
  • The variables on childcare / day care attendance had not been completely assigned for all FiD cases. This has now been done for two variables (bak6701 and bdk7001)
  • KIDLONG: Pooled dataset on children (up to the age of 16) in the household. Due to the changes in B[A-D]KIND, the resulting pooled KIDLONG file has also been updated.

1.6. Imputed monthly household income: MIHINC and I$HINC in $HGEN

All waves affected by the integration of FiD (2010 [BA] - 2013 [BD]) were completely newly imputed. With the new imputations, we now provide the imputed household income generated by only one imputation model and have also generated 10 implicates for the MIHINC dataset (FiD only provided 5 implicates).

1.7. $PEQUIV: CNEF Variables with Extended Income Information for the SOEP

Since no equivalent files were generated with the FiD data release, and especially since there were no data on the previous year’s household income or simulated tax and social insurance contributions, all $EQUIV from 2010-2013 had to be generated again for SOEP.v31.1.

The data provided in v31.1 now contain harmonized imputations and simulations for all SOEP subsamples including the newly integrated FiD samples.


2.     Other changed variables


Changes within the couple history files BIOCOUPLM and BIOCOUPLY, marital history files BIOMARSM and BIOMARSY, and variable marital status of the survey year ($famstd) in $PGEN:

  • Major changes occurred due to an adjustment of the spell endings for panel attrition. Previously the endings were set to twelve months since the most recent interview and have now been corrected to the month of the most recent interview. This adjustment also caused changes in the biographies for some respondents

2.2. BIOEDU: Biographical Data on Educational Participation and Transitions

Variable persnr (personal id) had the value 0 for all observations. In the new update, we have fixed this problem.

2.3. BEPBRUTTO: Gross data, individual level

The previous year’s identifiers had not been correctly implemented in the individual gross data set. This has been corrected. Affected variables:

  • behhnrold: Household number for previous year with two-digit control number.
  • bepnrold: serial individual number.


2.4. HEALTH: SOEP health module in the individual questionnaire

The dataset was unfortunately corrupted by mistake in our database. This has been corrected in v31.1.

2.5. BEPGEN: Genereated variables, individual level

  • Now variables with information about the current occupation in file BEPGEN (is8814, isco0814, isei14, klass14, kldb1014, mps14, siops14, and egp14) contain valid data also for cases that were not asked about their most recent job but that could be updated with information from the previous year.
  • Correction of a case due to a mistakenly applied value for field14 and degree14.


2.6. $HGEN: Generated Variables, household level

  • The file HGEN v31.1 now contains the variable gas$$, which states the household’s gas costs starting in 2014. The variables $$eqplif and $$eqpnrj have now been carried forward from the last two years if a household did not provide a response in a given year.
  • In the case of the variable moveyr$$, changes have been made in the cases in the integrated FiD sample. For these samples, the questionnaire does not ask for the move-in date and this information therefore had to be taken from the biographical questionnaire. Prior to the update, the move-in date of a random person in the household was used in hgen. Now the move-in date of the person who answered the household questionnaire is used.
  • Variables that are imputed (room$$, size$$, rent$$, heat$$, util$$ and electr$$) have been imputed again for the update. This resulted in random statistical changes. For this reason, changes have also occurred in the corresponding flag variables. Here, it should be noted that the data on whether utilities are included in the rent have also been imputed. Changes in this variable determine whether utilities are added to reported rent or not. This in turn determines whether the variable frent$$ is coded 0 or 1. Therefore, some rents that were marked “not imputed” prior to the update are now marked “imputed” and vice versa.


The SOEP micro data which we make available for scientific research can only be interpreted using statistical software. Direct use of SOEP data is subject to the high standards for lawful data protection in the Federal Republic of Germany. Signing a contract on data distribution with the DIW Berlin is therefore a precondition for working with SOEP data. After signing the contract, the data of every new wave will be available on request. 
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