SOEP Research: Social Inequalities and Distribution

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Research Project

Cohesion Panel of the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (ZHP-FGZ)

The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin and the University of Bremen are working together to develop a household panel study on the topic of social cohesion. The survey is being conducted by the infas Institute for Applied Social Science under the name “Zusammenleben in Deutschland,” or “Living Together in Germany.” The University of Bremen is taking part in the...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Research Project

The consequences of SARS-CoV-2 for societal inequalities (SARS-Cov-2-Inequal)

The Covid-19 pandemic poses numerous societal challenges. We will examine how it affects distinct social and at-risk groups in Germany, what it implies for societal inequalities, and what role welfare state measures play. First, we will describe the situation of the population before and during the pandemic in the health and the socio-economic domain. In each domain, we will study a set of core...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Research Project

Studying Regional Development Dynamics and their Political Consequences: SOEP RegioHub at Bielefeld University

Leibniz ScienceCampus SOEP-RegioHub at Bielefeld University (SOEP@UBi) Living conditions in Germany today show evidence of increasing and rapidly changing regional disparities in structural, demographic and economic domains. These disparities often take the form of an adverse access to health care facilities, childcare provision, education and other public services as well as regional labour...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Research Project

Effects of the legal minimum wage on poverty

The project analyses the effects of the statutory minimum wage on poverty in Germany. We use the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to examine the development of income poverty. Using a microsimulation model, the project studies the effect of minimum wages on social benefits.

Current Project| Public Economics, German Socio-Economic Panel study
Research Project

Life-course Income Dynamics (LINDY)

Concerns about inequality and questions of social justice and cohesion have re-entered the public arena and animate debate, provoked by the recent rapid increases in cross-sectional inequality. While much has been learnt from the literature on inequality, Deaton (2015) has outlined in his Nobel lecture several imperatives that are key to understanding inequalities and formulating welfare-enhancing...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Research Project

Basic Income Pilot Project

The current debate on unconditional basic income in Germany is often dominated by personal opinions and clichés and is seldom based on robust scientific knowledge, as there have been no generalizable scientific studies on this subject in the German context up to now. Studies in other countries such as Finland provide initial insights, but many of these are out of date or focus on specific...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Report

New SOEP Research Project: What Are the Social Consequences of the Corona Pandemic?

What are the economic and social consequences of the corona pandemic for people in Germany, now and in the future? SOEP researchers are exploring this question together with researchers from the University of Bielefeld, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Charité Berlin, and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB Berlin) as part of the research project “Socio-Economic Factors in and Consequences ...

29.04.2020| Stefan Liebig
Research Project

Perceptions of Inequalities and Justice in Europe (PIJE)

Over recent decades, European societies have witnessed increasing social inequalities. Faced with more flexible labor markets, open trade, and technological as well as ongoing demographic changes, European welfare models have been unable to effectively address this issue. Recent developments such as the yellow vest movement in France and the rise of populist parties across Europe have renewed...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Research Project

Wealth-Holders at the Top (WATT): An Interdisciplinary Research Network

How much do Germany’s top wealth holders own in assets? What are their socio-demographic and psychological characteristics? How do the rich get rich in the first place? And how involved are they in civic and political activities? The project Wealth-Holders at the Top (WATT) seeks to answer these key questions. The aim is to understand the extent, causes, and consequences of economic...

Current Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Weekly Report

In Germany, Younger, Better Educated Persons, and Lower Income Groups Are More Likely to Be in Favor of Unconditional Basic Income

by  Jule Adriaans, Stefan Liebig and Juergen Schupp Representative survey results have shown a stable approval rate for implementing unconditional basic income of between 45 and 52 percent in Germany since 2016/17. In European comparison, this approval rate is low. Younger, better educated persons, and those at risk of poverty support the concept of unconditional basic income in Germany. But ...

10.04.2019| Jule Adriaans, Stefan Liebig, Jürgen Schupp
Weekly Report

The Low-Wage Sector in Germany Is Larger Than Previously Assumed

by  Markus M. Grabka and Carsten Schröder The total number of dependent employees in Germany has increased by more than four million since the financial crisis. Part of this growth took place in the low-wage sector. Analyses based on data from the Socio-Economic Panel, which in 2017 for the first time include detailed information on secondary employment, show that there were around nine ...

03.04.2019| Markus M. Grabka, Carsten Schröder
Research Project

Improvement of the research data infrastructure in the area of high-worth individuals with the Socio-Economic Panel

The lack of a register-based sampling frame on high-worth individuals in many countries challenged previous attempts to sample high-worth individuals in voluntary scientific surveys. As a result, these individuals are typically under-represented in population surveys. In a novel research design, we draw on register data on the shareholding structures of companies as a sampling frame. Our design...

Completed Project| German Socio-Economic Panel study
Weekly Report

Inequality of Earnings in Germany Generally Accepted but Low Incomes Considered Unfair

Earnings differences are a recurring topic of public discussion in Germany. Data from the long-term Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study as well as a separate survey of German employees (LINOS) show that earnings inequalities are generally perceived as fair while a substantial share of the respondents find the current earnings distribution in Germany unfair. This applies above all to the middle and lower ...

12.09.2018| Jule Adriaans
Weekly Report

Income Distribution in Germany : Real Income on the Rise since 1991 but More People with Low Incomes

Between 1991 and 2015, the real disposable, needs-adjusted income of persons in private households in Germany rose by 15 percent on average. The majority of the population has benefited from the growth in real income, but the groups at the lower end of the income distribution have not. Inequality in both market and disposable needs-adjusted household income has remained high. These are the findings ...

24.05.2018| Jan Goebel, Markus M. Grabka
Weekly Report

Upward and downward social mobility probabilities have converged for men and women

This study investigates professional social mobility, i.e., changes in one’s occupational status compared to that of their parents. It uses data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (Sozio-ökonomisches Panel, SOEP) on middle-aged, western Germans who were born between 1939 and 1971. On average, social status relative to parents has increased (absolute social mobility). However, looking at ...

24.05.2018| Sandra Bohmann, Nicolas Legewie
Weekly Report

Inequality in Germany: decrease in gap for gross hourly wages since 2014, but monthly and annual wages remain on plateau

Despite the booming German labor market, wage inequality is still a relevant issue. In the present study, the authors report on the changes in wages and their distribution between 1992 and 2016. In addition to real contractual gross hourly wages, we closely examined gross monthly and annual wages. Based on Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data, the results show that wage inequality rose significantly between ...

28.02.2018| Markus M. Grabka, Carsten Schröder
Press Release

Gross income gap has increased since reunification

The top 10% of income earners in Germany earn almost as much as the middle 40% – the top 1%’s share of national income has increased from eight to 13 percent since 1995. The share of national income belonging to the top 1% of income earners has grown significantly in Germany since the mid-1990s, while the share earned by the bottom 50% has significantly decreased. These are the main findings ...

16.01.2018
Press Release

In Germany, approximately 1.8 million workers eligible for the minimum wage are earning less

The introduction of the minimum wage in Germany led to significant increases in wages –– However, around seven percent of eligible workers earn less than minimum wage, with the marginally employed and employees at small businesses being particularly affected –– When one also takes into account workers who are not eligible for a minimum wage, such as freelancers, a total of around ...

06.12.2017
Economic Bulletin

Income groups and types of employment in Germany since 1995

This report examines how income groups and forms of employment in Germany have changed in the past two decades. Since the mid-1990s, inequality in disposable household income in Germany has generally increased. This trend was in effect until 2005. While fewer people had disposable incomes in the median range, the proportion of the population at both tails of the income distribution increased. At the ...

14.07.2017| Christian Franz, Marcel Fratzscher, Peter Krause
Interview

"Regular employment continues to play important role": Five questions for Peter Krause and Christian Franz

Mr. Krause, you took a close look at income groups in Germany. What did you hope to accomplish? Peter Krause: We wanted to bring together two discussion threads in our study. One thread has to do with the long-term trend in inequality of household income distribution and the other, with changes in labor force participation. Until the mid-2000s, inequality in disposable household income increased and ...

14.07.2017| Christian Franz, Peter Krause
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