SOEP Related Studies


Es gibt inzwischen eine Reihe von Studien in Deutschland, die aus dem SOEP einige Fragen übernommen haben, um die Ergebnisse später auf die Vergleichbarkeit mit einer repräsentativen Grundgesamtheit prüfen zu können.

Die SOEP Related Studies (SOEP-RS) entstehen darüber hinaus in enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem SOEP-Team und sind ähnlich aufgebaut. So können die Datensätze der SOEP-RS relativ einfach mit der ursprünglichen SOEP-Befragung (SOEP-Core) verknüpft und zusammen ausgewertet werden.

Folgende aufgelistete Studien werden nicht vom Forschungsdatenzentrum des SOEP vetrieben.


Household panels in general—and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in particular—can serve as reference data for researchers collecting datasets that are not representative of an entire population (e.g., data from clinical trials, intervention studies, laboratory or behavioral experiments, or cohort studies). The Research Data Center of the SOEP provides the special service of consulting personally with researchers who want to use SOEP as a reference data set or as a control sample for their own studies. One aspect of this service is tailored advice to researchers on how to design their own longitudinal studies. Recommendations are given not only on questionnaire design and survey questions but also on specific survey techniques such as the tracking rule, which makes it possible to follow cohort members as well as their children and grandchildren, spouses, and other relatives over time. 

Here we present a comprehensive list of SOEP-Core questions that we recommend researchers consider when collecting their own data. We focus on seven topics:
(1) demographic and parental characteristics
(2) labor markets
(3) health
(4) personality, preferences, and subjective orientations
(5) subjective well-being
(6) political involvement and participation
(7) a set of core questions for young children before they enter school.

Of course, the selection of a minimum set of questions depends on the research question at hand.

Using SOEP questions is easy, but selecting the best questions for a given project is often more difficult. The SOEP survey group is happy to provide advice. But due to our finite staff capacities, consultations must be planned well in advance.

For more information see: 

Thomas Siedler, Jürgen Schupp, C. Katharina Spieß, and Gert G. Wagner. 2009. The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) as Reference Data Set. Schmollers Jahrbuch 129(2): 367 - 374.

Question selection for your study:

Adult questions

Mother-child questions

Original SOEP questionnaires

Studies already using SOEP questions:

Affect Across the Lifespan

Project EVA - Evaluation of two prevention programs with high risk children in kindergarten




Early Intervention Project 'Pro Kind' | PDF, 309.63 KB

IZA Evaluation Data Set

Long-term consequences of congenital heart disease (I)

NUBBEK - Nationale Untersuchung zur Bildung, Betreuung und Erziehung in der frühen Kindheit

Ravensburger Elternsurvey



The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), carried out on behalf of the OECD, examines the basic skills that are necessary for adults to participate successfully in society and working life. Findings from the 2011/2012 wave of the PIACC study were released in October 2013.

Around 98% of the approximately 5,400 PIAAC survey respondents in Germany agreed to participate in further surveys. PIAAC-L is a cooperative project of GESIS, the National Educational Panel Survey (NEPS) at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin, whose aim is to convert the PIAAC study into a longitudinal study with three waves. This will create one of the world’s first internationally comparable longitudinal studies on competencies and their significance across the life course.

The project is planned to consist of three survey waves (in 2014, 2015, 2016) with different focal points. This will involve use of the SOEP-Core survey instruments (both individual and household questionnaires), PIAAC instruments (competency measurement and background questionnaire), and competency tests from NEPS and SOEP. In the first survey wave, only the SOEP survey instruments will be used (household and individual questionnaires). The third wave will focus on measuring the competencies of all household members based on the short scales used in the SOEP in 2006 and 2012 on basic cognitive skills. The surveys are aimed at comparative methodological analysis of the competency indicators used in PIAAC, NEPS, and SOEP and innovative analysis of labor market, education, and socio-political issues. By the end of the project, findings will be released on the influence of competencies on educational and professional careers in the form of research publications, and the data from all waves will have been made available to the research community together with supporting documentation. According to current plans, the analyses of competency related issues will make use of the longitudinal character of the new dataset and will be designed for comparison with the SOEP. It is also planned that as of 2018, participants from PIAAC-L who are willing to join a permanent, institutionalized longitudinal study will be transferred into either the recently launched SOEP Innovation Sample or the NEPS adult cohort.


Data from the first wave (surveyed 2014) of the study PIAAC-L have been updated on July 20, 2016 (DOI 10.4232/1.12576)

The PIAAC-L data is available and can be linked with PIAAC 2012 data through the GESIS data archive.

Please follow this link to GESIS to find the study description and order the data.

Short description of the TwinLife study TwinLife is a 12-year representative behavior genetic study investigating the development of social inequality. The long-term project started in 2014 and surveys more than 4,000 pairs of twins and their families regarding their different stages of life on a yearly basis. All of the subjects reside in Germany. Not only social, but also genetic mechanisms as well as covariations and interactions between these two parameters can be examined with the help of identical and fraternal twins.

In order to document the individual development of different parameters it is important to examine a family extensively over the course of several years. Six important contextual points are focused on: Education and academic performance, career and labor market attainment, integration and participation in social, cultural and political life, quality of life and perceived capabilities, physical and psychological health and eventually behavioral issues and deviant behavior. The data hereby collected can give insight into questions concerning the development of social inequalities and will be made available to the scientific community.

Official TwinLife homepage

The Bremen Initiative to Foster Early Childhood Development (BRISE) is a longitudinal study that systematically investigates the effects of early childhood intervention.

BRISE follows approximately 1 000 disadvantaged families in Bremen who expect a child between spring of 2017 and the end of 2018. The program links selected measures beginning at a prenatal stage and continuing until the first year of primary school. The measures are integrated in everyday life and most of them are already established in Bremen. They are implemented in the family home or in the day-care institution.

Research within the scope of BRISE examines the cumulative effects of a coordinated intervention program on the participating children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. The first four years of funding come from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); a subsequent 4-year grant period is planned. BRISE employs a quasi-experimental longitudinal research design to gauge effects of the coordinated program on multiple dimensions. Families participating in the intervention chain will be compared with families who decide for themselves in which and in how many of Bremen’s programs they enroll. Over a period of up to two years, approximately 1 000 disadvantaged families in Bremen will be included in our sample. Linking BRISE to the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) as well as to the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) further enables comparative analyses with additional high-quality data. The insights gained in Bremen will inform policy on early childhood and be constructive in providing equal opportunities for all children, protecting children, and promoting their development and participation in society.

The primary responsibility of the IPN will be to coordinate the joint research project. Data collection will be conducted by the University of Bremen; the Max Planck Institute for Human Development will assist in setting up the required facilities and utilities (i.e., laboratories) at the University of Bremen. In terms of research foci, the IPN will address the development of early childhood educators’ professional competencies and domain-specific processes in mathematics and science. The University of Bremen specializes in developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology. The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) contributes an education economics approach to gauging the effects of the coordinated intervention program. Moreover, it will link BRISE with the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The University of Bamberg and the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories will collaborate in establishing BRISE’s link with the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). The two panel studies lend themselves to comparative analyses with BRISE. The assessment of early childhood development, in particular milestones in normal development, are the focus at Heidelberg University. The Freie Universität Berlin, finally, specializes in investigating how family and early childhood educators interact with the children.

The Bonn Intervention Panel (BIP) investigates the development of personality and preferences of children starting at the primary school age until age 25 and beyond. Main focus of our study is the impact of early childhood environment. In particular, we experimentally vary the childhood environment in our sample by giving a randomly chosen subgroup of the sample the opportunity to take part in a mentoring program.

The first part of the project, which has been completed in fall of 2011, is measuring personality traits and preferences before the start of the intervention for all children (via choice experiments) and their mothers (or other main caregiver).

In the third wave (at the end of 2014) the interview program bridges between the first two waves and the classical SOEP‐IS. The families answered the standard SOEP‐IS questionnaire batteries and the BIP child as well as the main caregiver (mother) answered additional batteries. The BIP child took part in incentivized experiments regarding time, risk and social preferences and answered the student questionnaire of SPE-Core. The mothers answered additional questions regarding her personality and parenting style.

Since 2014, the 'BIP families' are  included into SOEP-IS and will be interviewed on a yearly basis to get information on further development of the children.


  • Deckers, Thomas, Armin Falk, Fabian Kosse & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch (2015)
    „How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child’s Personality? IZA Discussion Paper No. 8977.
  • Kosse, Fabian, Thomas Deckers, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Armin Falk (2016)
    „Formation of Human Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment.” IZA Discussion Paper no. 9861 and SOEPpaper 840 (PDF, 0.58 MB).

Studies who already used SOEP questions::