Reanalysis Archive of the SOEP

Reanalysis of Published Findings with SOEP Data

The SOEP supports efforts in the scientific community to make data easily available for replication and reanalysis. At the same time, the SOEP is obligated to ensure that respondents’ data are used solely for scientific purposes. This means that data users have to sign a data distribution contract with DIW Berlin and are forbidden from disseminating any part of the data to third parties.

We urge all researchers to archive the syntax they used in preparing and analyzing the SOEP data for analysis. The syntax should contain the specific version of the SOEP data, which can be clearly identified through the DOI, to enable replication.

Syntax can be archived in a free data repository such as the Open Science Framework (OSF: https://osf.io) or on the website of the journal publishing the paper. The SOEP Research Data Center also offers to archive the syntax files used by researchers in preparing and analyzing the SOEP data for analysis, and to make the syntax files available for download from its website.

Some journals also require that researchers provide access to the dataset they prepared for analysis from the original raw data. In such cases, the SOEP offers data users the option of archiving their research datasets at the SOEP Research Data Center as well. The SOEP-RDC will provide the dataset upon request to researchers who have signed a data distribution contract with DIW Berlin.

Archive for Reanalysis of Published Findings

  • Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits - An Econometric Analysis (2004)
    Rainer Winkelmann
    Journal of Applied Econometrics 19, no. 4, 455-472
    (Pre-published: 2003: IZA DP No. 317. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)) DOI: 10.1002/jae.764
    Dataset and description

  • Incentive Effects in the Demand for Health Care: A Bivariate Panel Count Data Estimation (2003)
    Regina T. Riphahn, Achim Wambach, and Andreas Million
    Journal of Applied Econometrics 18, no. 4, 387-405.
    (Also published 2003: IZA Reprint Series A - 201/2003. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor). DOI: 10.1002/jae.680
    Dataset and description

  • No evidence that economic inequality moderates the effect of income on generosity (online first 2019)
    Schukle, Stefan C., Martin Korndörfer and Boris Egloff
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Advance Online Publication.,
    DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1807942116.
    Description

  • Stated and Revealed Heterogeneous Risk Preferences in Educational Choice (2017)
    Frank M. Fossen and Daniela Glocker
    European Economic Review 97, 1-25, DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.03.016
    Description (PDF, 219.28 KB)

  • Fertility progression in Germany: An analysis using flexible nonparametric cure survival models (2016)
    Vincent Bremhorst, Michaela Kreyenfeld and Philippe Lambert
    Demographic Research 35 (18), 505-534. DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2016.35.18

  • Law and social capital: Evidence from the Code Napoleon in Germany (2016)
    Johannes C Buggle
    European Economic Review, 87, August 2016, 148-175. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.05.003.

Dataset not completely anonymized. Please contact SOEPmail@diw.de to gain access.

  • The macroeconomic effects of social security contributions and benefits (2020)
    Gechert, Sebastian, Christoph Paetz, and Paloma Villanueva
    Journal of Monetary Economics (online first), DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2020.03.012
    Syntax

  • Being Unengaged at Work but Still Dedicating Time and Energy: A Longitudinal Study (2020)
    Hommelhoff, Sabine, David Richter, Cornelia Niessen, Denis Gerstorf and Jutta Heckhausen
    Motivation Science 6 (4), 368-373, doi: 10.1037/mot0000155
    Syntax

  • The impact of having children on domain-specific life satisfaction: A quasi-experimental longitudinal investigation using the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data (2020)
    Krämer, Michael D., and Joseph Lee Rodgers
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 119 (6), 1497–1514, DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000279
    Syntax

  • Long-term effects of pregnancy and childbirth on sleep satisfaction and duration of first-time and experienced mothers and fathers (2019)
    Richter, David, Michael D. Krämer, Nicole K. Y. Tang, Hawley E. Montgomery-Downs and Sakari Lemola
    Sleep 42 (4), 1-10, doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz015
    Syntax

  • Predictors of Refugee Adjustment: The Importance of Cognitive Skills and Personality (2019)
    Hahn, Elisabeth, David Richter, Jürgen Schupp and Mitja D. Back
    Collabra: Psychology 5 (1), Art. 23, doi: 10.1525/collabra.212
    Syntax

  • Age Differences in Intertemporal Choice: U-Shaped Associations in a Probability Sample of German Households (2018)
    Richter, David and Rui Mata
    Psychology and Aging 33 (5), 782-788, doi: 10.1037/pag0000266
    Syntax 

  • Successfully Striving for Happiness: Socially Engaged Pursuits Predict Increases in Life Satisfaction (2018)
    Rohrer, Julia M., David Richter, Martin Brümmer, Gert G. Wagner and Stefan C. Schmukle
    Psychological Science 29 (8), 1291-1298, doi: 10.1177/0956797618761660
    Syntax

  • Personality Trait Effects on Green Household Installations (2018)
    Busic-Sontic, Ante and Cameron Brick
    Collabra: Psychology 4 (4), 8, doi: 10.1525/collabra.120
    Syntax

  • "What Else Are You Worried About?" – Integrating Textual Responses into Quantitative Social Science Research (2017)
    Rohrer, Julia M., Martin Brümmer, Stefan Schmukle, Jan Goebel and Gert G. Wagner
    PLOS ONE 12 (7), e0182156, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182156
    Syntax

  • The Micro-Foundations of Party Competition and Issue Ownership: The Reciprocal Effects of Citizens’ Issue Salience and Party Attachments (2018)
    Neundorf, Anja and James Adams
    British Journal of Political Science 48 (2), 385-406, DOI: 10.1017/S0007123415000642
    Description

  • Individual Wealth and Subjective Financial Well-being in Marriage: Resource Integration or Separation? (2017)
    Philipp M. Lersch
    Journal of Marriage and Family 79 (5), 1211-1223, DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12406
    Replication files

  • Parents' Death and Adult Well-being: Gender, Age, and Adaptation to Filial Bereavement (2015)
    Thomas Leopold and Clemens M. Lechner Journal of Marriage and Family 77 (3), 747-760. DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12186
    Stata syntax (Do-File)

  • Religious Attendance Buffers the Impact of Unemployment on Life Satisfaction: Longitudinal Evidence from Germany (2015)
    Thomas Leopold and Clemens M. Lechner
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 54 (1), 166-174. DOI: 10.1111/jssr.12171
    Stata syntax (Do-File)

Detailed instructions for researchers

Data protection issues are of utmost importance to both SOEP and CNEF. First, data protection is a crucial part of the (implicit) contract between the surveys and their respondents. Second, researchers who want to access the survey data must adhere to strict data protection regulations. The precautions taken by the surveys and data users to guarantee data protection ultimately help to ensure future participation by respondents. Because of the exceptionally high standards of data protection that apply to SOEP and CNEF data, making them available for reanalysis can present a major challenge. The SOEP data are subject to limited access: they are provided solely for research purposes (wissenschaftliche Zweckbindung) and therefore only to members of the scientific community. To obtain the data, researchers must sign a data distribution contract with DIW Berlin. Users of  SOEP data are not permitted to transfer the data to third parties / other users not covered in the data distribution contract.

More and more of the scholarly journals that publish empirical papers using microdata stipulate that the data be submitted for archiving along with the paper itself. Two such journals are the Journal of Applied Econometrics and the American Economic Review. The latter recently adopted the following policy: “For published articles, the authors must provide both the data and the programs sufficient for the articles’ findings to be replicated. These data and programs are then posted on the journal's Web site. If the use of the data is restricted, the authors must provide instructions on how to obtain permission to use the data. If some of the data are proprietary, the editors try to work out ways for other researchers to use the data. In addition, the journal is encouraging studies to reanalyze data and replicate results.” (Kleppner et al, 2009: p. 96-97). The SOEP is keen to support such policies.

In the interests of improving the statistical infrastructure for reanalysis and replication studies using SOEP data, the SOEP group now offers users a variety of options for making their SOEP working dataset available to other researchers. These options apply to all data formats associated with SOEP, including CNEF, EU-SILC-Clone, LIS, and LWS. If your working dataset includes any SOEP microdata (or data derived from SOEP), you as a SOEP user may not transfer the data to the journal’s editorial office, but may instead take advantage of the following alternatives:

  • In our view, the most transparent approach is to publish the relevant syntax for the article along with the data processing method. The syntax published on the journal webpage should clearly identify the SOEP data version used by the authors (more information here). Other researchers who are interested in the data can obtain the identical version after signing a user contract with the SOEP. Users can include a paragraph in their article like the following to describe this process:

    Data Availability: Data are available from the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) due to third party restrictions (for requests, please contact soepmail@diw.de). The scientific use file of the SOEP with anonymous microdata is made available free of charge to universities and research institutes for research and teaching purposes. The direct use of SOEP data is subject to the strict provisions of German data protection law. Therefore, signing a data distribution contract is a precondition for working with SOEP data. The data distribution contract can be requested with a form, available at: http://www.diw.de/soepforms. For further information, contact the SOEPhotline at either soepmail@diw.de or +49-30-89789-292.

  • If the journal to which you intend to submit a paper does not agree with the approach above, we offer a second option: storing your working dataset in a special archive at DIW Berlin. From our experience, journals generally accept this arrangement. Researchers who want to reanalyze the dataset must apply for a standard SOEP user contract to be granted access to the archived data. Of course, such a contract includes access to all other SOEP scientific use files as well. If the dataset is exceptionally sensitive due to the inclusion of detailed geo-coded data, users will probably be required to visit the RDC SOEP to obtain data access.

  • SOEP data can only be made available for free download under two conditions. First, we (the SOEP group, together with the DIW Berlin data protection officer) have to check whether the relevant working dataset can be treated as a “completely anonymized dataset” (absolut anonymisierter Mikrodatensatz). This may be the case when the number of observations as well as variables is small and all original IDs have been removed. Second, measures have to be undertaken to change the data, for instance, by adding random error to metric variables and randomly interchanging categories in the case of non-metric variables. In such cases, journals may be permitted to archive the data, but only with DIW Berlin’s official approval.

Whenever a journal editor asks for your working data set, please contact us at  soepmail@diw.de. We would be happy to deposit the data in a special archive and notify the journal editor about the access procedure.

If you want to send us data for our replication service, please use the cryptshare server hosted by us at https://cs-soep.diw.de/. After briefly registering, you can distribute the data using a secure, encrypted server.

In order to improve the infrastructure for the re-analysis of published findings based on SOEP data we also provide information of the following types

  • references to publications using completely anonymized and partly artificial (SOEP) microdata (including links to the dataset)
  • references to publications using a working dataset deposited at our archive  (as offered above),  available for licenced SOEP users, and
  • references to publications using the SOEP dataset and providing the generated syntax files.

References
Kleppner, Daniel and Phillip A. Sharp (2009): Research Data in the Digital Age. Science, Vol. 325: 368, 24 July 2009.

Kleppner, Daniel et al. [Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age] (2009): Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

For any questions please contact the SOEPhotline

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SOEPhotline

Philipp Kaminsky, and Janine Napieraj
User support and contract management for the Research Data Center of the SOEP

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