Integrated Studies

Along with the main studies, SOEP-Core and SOEP-IS, the SOEP Research Data Center distributes a series of other datasets. These include research projects carried out with specific samples that have been integrated into SOEP-Core but are also available as independent datasets.

Families in Germany (FID)

Families in Germany (FiD) was the first systematic, large-scale evaluation of the entire spectrum of public benefits to married people and families in Germany. The study was commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth (BMFSFJ) and the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).

The FiD study was designed to provide an improved source of nationally representative data for the analysis of several subgroups of the population that are important for family policy but too small in size relative to the overall population to produce statistically reliable and generalizable results. These include single-parent families, low-income families, and families with more than two children. To address the need for more observations of these groups, the FiD study was conducted from 2010-2013 by SOEP at DIW Berlin in partnership with TNS Infratest Sozialforschung (now Kantar Public). It was modelled on the SOEP survey and provides data on more than 4,500 households.

In FiD, the following four supplementary samples were surveyed annually from 2010 to 2013, thus forming a panel study:

  1. A sample of families in "critical income brackets"
  2. A sample of single parents
  3. A sample of families with more than two children
  4. A "cohort sample" of the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 (first quarter) birth cohorts

The data were first released to the scientific community in April 2012. They can be obtained from the SOEP Research Data Center with a SOEP data distribution contract (forms). Although the FiD survey instruments were adapted to the specific research focus of the evaluation, they were based on those used in the SOEP. By using the FiD and SOEP data together, researchers can obtain a representative picture of the German population. To facilitate data analysis, the SOEP team has included the majority of the SOEP datasets in FiD along with joint weighting factors. More information in greater detail can be found in the article:

Schröder, Mathis, Rainer Siegers, and C. Katharina Spieß. 2013. "Familien in Deutschland" - FiD. Schmollers Jahrbuch 133 (4), 595-606 (DOI: 10.3790/schm.133.4.595).

The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth has published a compilation of studies produced as part of the evaluation here.

IAB-SOEP Migration Sample

The IAB-SOEP Migration Sample is a household survey conducted jointly by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin. The project aims at overcoming the limitations of previous datasets by drawing a series of samples that take into account changes in the structure of migration to Germany since 1995.

Sampling

IAB-SOEP Migration Sample M1 was drawn from administrative records in the IAB’s Integrated Employment Biographies (IEB) database, and the households in the sample were first surveyed in 2013. A multi-step sampling procedure was carried out in 250 regional units, with every person in the target population having an equal probability of being selected. In each of the 250 regional units, 80 addresses were randomly selected, with some countries of origin having been assigned a higher probability of selection to ensure a sufficient number of observations. These groups included immigrants from the new EU Member States and individuals from southern Europe.

The households in the second IAB-SOEP Migration Sample (M2) were first surveyed in 2015. The target population of this IAB-SOEP Migration Sample consisted of immigrants to Germany who arrived between 2010 and 2013—mainly migrants from the new EU Member States in Eastern Europe. The data from this sample will make it possible to better describe the dynamic recent evolution of immigration to Germany. Sample M2 consists of 1,096 households, and, like Sample M1, it was drawn from register data from the Federal Employment Agency.

The households in the third IAB-SOEP Migration Sample (M7) will be surveyed for the first time in 2020. The target population of this IAB-SOEP Migration Sample consists of immigrants to Germany who arrived between 2016 and 2018 from the countries of Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. The data from this sample will make it possible to better describe the dynamic recent evolution of immigration to Germany. Sample M7 will consist of 1,000 households. Like Samples M1 and M2, it has been drawn from register data from the Federal Employment Agency.

The Survey

All household members aged 16 years or older first complete either an individual biographical questionnaire or a youth questionnaire, which also contains biographical questions. Then one household member completes a household questionnaire. Starting with the second year of the survey, the other SOEP questionnaires are used, in particular, the age-specific questionnaires for mothers (or the mother-and-child questionnaires).

The data from the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample offer insights into various aspects of migration, including the living situations of recent immigrants to Germany and the potential for skilled worker recruitment. Findings based on these data can be used to derive recommendations for immigration, integration, and labor market policies in Germany. The survey covers the following topics:

  • Migration history: point in time of immigration, past migration history, search and information behavior.
  • Education history: highest educational or vocational qualifications, years of schooling, educational attainment in Germany and abroad, procedure for recognition of foreign educational qualifications, language proficiency.
  • Employment history: employment, self-employment, unemployment in Germany and country of origin.
  • Labor market information: earnings, full- and part-time employment, working hours, benefit receipt, reservation wage, participation in measures of active labor market policy.
  • Return migration: Return migration intentions, return migration, limited survey of return migrants.
  • Other: remittances to home countries, life satisfaction, risk preferences, social integration, and recognition.

The IAB-SOEP Migration Sample substantially increases the available sample size in the SOEP-Core study for research on migration and the lives of immigrants in Germany. 4,964 persons residing in 2,723 households participated in the first wave of this survey.

Table 1: Development of case numbers in the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Adults 4,964 3,835 4,847 3,882 3,481 3,020 2,553
Children 2,481 1,867 2,403 1,922 1,695 1,489 1,274

Since the data from the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample are also included in the regular SOEP data release, migrants from the other SOEP-Core samples can also be included in analyses, further increasing the number of observations.

Data Access

The data also provide supplementary samples to the SOEP-Core study and are integrated into every version of the SOEP data starting with v33.1 as Sample M1 and M2 (identical questionnaires, with additional questions on the respondent’s migration situation). All SOEP users with a valid contract for data use either have already been receiving the data since SOEP v33.1 or can order the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample data separately in the usual ways. Data users receive a personal safe download link, allowing them to download the dataset free of charge.

To find out how you can order the data, see here.

Record Linkage

Survey data from the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample can be linked with administrative labor market and income data if the respondents in question provided explicit consent to record linkage. But since this linked dataset contains weakly anonymized social data, the datasets are only accessible on site at the Research Data Center of the German Federal Employment Agency at the IAB (FDZ IAB). Researchers can use FDZ IAB data on a guest visit to the IAB or through remote data processing, which can also be arranged with the IAB. Requests for data access should be directed to FDZ IAB, since a contract with IAB for data use is required (further information).

All documents such as methodological reports, questionnaires, and publications on the study can be found under Documentation on the SOEP Studies.

By using the filter “type of documentation”, you can narrow your search.

IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees

The Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin, and the Research Centre on Migration, Integration, and Asylum of the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF-FZ) are working together on a project to survey people who have come to Germany seeking protection from political persecution and violent conflicts. The influx of refugees to Germany, which rose sharply in the second half of 2015, poses challenges for public policy, administrative agencies, and society at large. Planning how to house and support these refugees and foster their long-term integration into the labor market, educational system, and other areas of society requires robust and reliable data that can be generalized and applied to the challenges at hand. Empirical social research is called upon to provide the data for these purposes.

Sampling

The random sample of refugees was drawn from the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (AZR) (for further details, see: Studiendesign der IAB-BAMF-SOEP Befragung Geflüchteter (PDF, 355.71 KB) (only in German)

The Survey

Based on a qualitative preliminary survey, a comprehensive standardized survey of refugees in Germany has been conducted by specially trained interviewers working for the survey institute annually since 2016.

Table 1: Development of case numbers in the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugeess

2016
 2017 2018 2019
Adults 4,465 5,703 4,471 4,241
Children
5,391 6,096 5,162 4,390

Questions on Living Situations and Overall Framework Conditions

To obtain reliable information about the living situations of people who have come to Germany seeking protection in recent years, the study gathers information on refugees’ schooling and vocational training, as well as the individuals’ current occupational situation. It also asks questions about their language use, living and family situation, social participation, and contact with both Germans and people of their own ethnic backgrounds. Other focal points of the study, which is conducted using standardized survey instruments, are the impacts of the legal and institutional frameworks and the effectiveness of various support programs.

The survey data are integrated into the SOEP data release. This makes it possible to conduct analyses comparing refugees with other migrant groups as well as with the non-migrant population.

Data Access

About the SOEP Research Data Center:

The dataset also provides supplementary samples to the SOEP-Core study and is integrated into every version of the SOEP data starting with v33.1 as Sample M3-M5 (identical questionnaires, with additional questions about the respondent’s refugee and migration situation). All SOEP users with a valid contract for data use either have already received the data with SOEP v33.1 or can order the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees data separately in the usual ways (SOEPhotline). Data users receive a personal safe download link, allowing them to download the dataset free of charge.

To find out how you can order the data, see here.

About the FDZ IAB:
To find out how you can order the data, see here.

Record Linkage

Please note that data from the IAB-SOEP Survey of Refugees can be linked with administrative labor market and income data if the respondents in question provided explicit consent to record linkage. But since these linked datasets contains weakly anonymized social data, they can only be used on site at the Research Data Center of the German Federal Employment Agency at the IAB (FDZ IAB). Researchers can use FDZ IAB data on a guest visit to the IAB or through remote data processing, which can also be arranged with the IAB. Requests for data access should be directed to FDZ IAB, since a contract with IAB for data use is required (further information).

All documents such as methodological reports, questionnaires, and publications on the study can be found under Documentation on the SOEP Studies. By using the filter “type of documentation”, you can narrow your search.