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SOEPnewsletter March 2023

Dear Colleagues,

After a long winter, spring is finally here—and with it, the new SOEPnewsletter!

We’d like to call your attention to job openings at the SOEP: We are currently hiring a research assistant (f/m/non-binary) to conduct longitudinal analyses focusing on the applied analysis of SOEP survey data, particularly in occupational mobility and labor market research. All our job openings can be found on this page.

Best regards,

Your SOEP Knowledge Transfer team

Two new refugee subsamples

In 2023, two large subsamples will be added to the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees to provide representative data on more recent refugee immigration to Germany and to counteract the dropouts that are common in panel surveys. The two samples will consist of 2,500 households of people who fled Ukraine to Germany last year, and an additional 3,000 households of refugees from “traditional” countries of origin who arrived in Germany between January 1, 2017, and August 31, 2022.

Refresher sample on labor migration

The SOEP is working with the IAB to conduct a survey of labor migrants from third countries. The existing sample of about 1,500 households will be expanded by another N=1,500 households in 2023.

Updated scale manual published in December 2022

The updated SOEP scale manual contains three new features:

  1. Expanded/updated to include survey content through 2020 (v37)
  2. Converted to the SOEPlong variable scheme
  3. SOEP scale manual now included in the SOEPcompanion

The scale manual provides an overview of constructs used in the SOEP (e.g., locus of control) and their theoretical foundations, background, and implementation in the questionnaire.

An interview with Dr. Carina Cornesse, new head of the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS)

Carina Cornesse took over from David Richter as head of the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) on February 1, 2023. She is a survey methodologist, and her research focuses on the recruitment and maintenance of panel studies, the benefits and limitations of probability and non-probability samples, the use of different data collection modes, and the linkage of survey data with data from other sources. She studied sociology in Mainz and Frankfurt am Main, received her PhD from the Graduate School for Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim, and joined the SOEP team in November 2021. At the SOEP, she also heads the Social Cohesion Panel, a study conducted by the SOEP in partnership with the University of Bremen. Before joining SOEP, she worked as a research associate at GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and in the Collaborative Research Center 884 “Political Economy of Reforms” at the University of Mannheim.

We talked to Carina Cornesse about what she’s doing as the new head of SOEP-IS, what makes the study so interesting, and what’s happening in it in the year to come.

Carina Cornesse, what do you find most exciting about SOEP-IS?

“SOEP-IS is a very special data infrastructure for the social and behavioral science research community. It has been used since 2011 for the implementation of highly innovative measurement instruments, ambitious experiments with complex designs, and even “high-risk, high-reward” methodologies. The fact that the survey modules come directly from the research community through an open application process makes SOEP-IS an interdisciplinary center that brings together the best new ideas and makes them a reality. At the same time, SOEP-IS maintains the highest standards of data quality and ensures maximum transparency. We are constantly adapting the survey to the current state of the art in methodological research. And we’re always working to maintain the longitudinal character of the data, an important aspect of all the infrastructures that make up the SOEP. SOEP-IS is a treasure trove of data that offer important insights for methodological and empirical research in the social and behavioral sciences. It’s often the first port of call for data users’ innovative data collection ideas.”

What’s new in SOEP-IS this year?

“There’s always a lot going on in SOEP-IS. This year, we are especially pleased to be adding a new refresher sample that was drawn from population registers. The new sample will be surveyed exclusively online, which means we’re strengthening our online survey mode, with the possibilities it offers for fast, flexible, and cost-effective data collection. But, of course, we’re also remaining faithful to the CAPI interview mode to allow the use of methods that require interviewer support.”

What are important dates, deadlines, and resources for SOEP-IS?

“Researchers who are interested in submitting a proposal for data collection in 2024 should keep the following deadlines in mind: The call for submissions is already open, and if you would like to submit a proposal, you should send an informal expression of interest to by *May 31, 2023* and then complete the template for proposals by June 30, 2023. More information can be found here.

If you’re interested in the datasets that are already available, contact the SOEP Research Data Center. To find out what modules have been included in previous SOEP-IS surveys, see the SOEP-IS Companion.

We look forward to many exciting proposals from the research community!”

The SOEP team would like to take this opportunity to thank David Richter for his many years of outstanding work on SOEP-IS, and to welcome Carina Cornesse—we look forward to working with her!

The IAB-BiB/FReDA-BAMF-SOEP Survey “Refugees from Ukraine in Germany”—initial results and further plans

The Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered the largest wave of refugee migration within Europe since the end of World War II. Since the war began, more than one million people have fled Ukraine to Germany. The Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB), the Research Center of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF-FZ) and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin have been working together to conduct the first large-scale representative survey of Ukrainian refugees in Germany. Between August and October 2022, more than 11,000 people were interviewed for the survey. Initial findings from this first wave of the study were presented to the public on December 15, 2022. The long version of this report can be found (in German) here (PDF, 3.42 MB). The shorter version of this report (in English) can be found here (PDF, 0.73 MB). Read more in this SOEP Newsletter under People and Papers.

The IAB-BiB/FReDA-BAMF-SOEP survey is designed as a longitudinal study. Fieldwork on the second wave began in January 2023, and initial findings from this wave are expected toward the middle of the year. After the second wave has been completed, the sample will be split: One half will continue as part of the BiB’s FReDA survey, and the other half will be incorporated into the regular SOEP survey.

The new DFG project “Simulation of educational trajectories under consideration of latent decision processes”

In this subproject of the DFG Research Unit “Multi-Sectoral Regional Microsimulation Model (MikroSim)”, Angelina Hammon and Sabine Zinn are focussing since January 2023 on the possibility of using machine learning methods in generating synthetic data with microsimulations.

The new DFG project “Inequality, Taxation and Redistribution: Insights from a German/French Perspective (EQUITAX)”

The project aims at identifying the tax and transfer instruments that are most effective in reducing economic inequality. The project research team led by Charlotte Bartels is comprehensively analyzing taxation as well as wealth and income inequality from a German-French perspective using the latest methods and data, combining macroeconomic, theoretical, and applied microeconometric approaches. Project partners are the University of Regensburg, the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS), and the Center for Research in Economics and Statistics in Paris (CREST). Further project information.

The new DFG project “Longitudinal Study of Ukrainian Refugees (SUARE)”

The project focuses on how the wave of migration that followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, differed from previous refugee movements in scope and institutional context. The project will establish a longitudinal data infrastructure on the socio-economic situation of Ukrainian refugees in Germany and its development over the next three years (Longitudinal Study of Ukrainian Refugees, SUARE). It aims to integrate the sample of N = 2,500 households into the IAB-BAMF-SOEP study as well as the main SOEP survey (SOEP-CORE) (waves 2023-2025). The data from this project will be used to investigate the specific institutional, economic, and social framework conditions of refugee migration from Ukraine to Germany and to analyze their significance for issues of health and discrimination through comparison with (a) refugees in Germany from other cultural, political, and socio-economic contexts, (b) non-refugee immigrants in Germany, and (c) the autochthonous population.

The new BMAS Project “Wealth Accumulation in Germany—Current Trends and Drivers”

The SOEP team of Carsten Schröder, Viola Hilbert, and Charlotte Bartels is preparing a four-part study on trends and drivers of wealth accumulation in Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for the German Federal Government’s Seventh Poverty and Wealth Report, which will be published in fall of 2024.

The 2022 SOEP User Survey

How satisfied are SOEP data users with the quality of our data? A survey conducted at the end of 2022 provides answers. According to the survey, SOEP scores high with data users on its trustworthiness as a data source. Users are also satisfied with the comparability of the data, the composition of the samples, the relevance of the study, and the accessibility of the datasets. They are somewhat less satisfied when it comes to the user-friendliness of the SOEP data (see Figure 1). To address this issue, SOEP staff have continued to expand the range of services offered to data users. The data documentation platform was expanded in 2022 to include additional information (including the possibility to view SOEP-Core questionnaires online without having to download documents). And for new users, the SOEPtutorials video series and the SOEPcompanion digital manual have made it easier to get started working with SOEP data. In addition, five SOEPcampus workshops were held last year in person as well as online.

Another topic of the survey was what data users think about getting the SOEP data earlier. The result: Almost half (46%) would like to get the data early. Of these, 11% would find it helpful to get the early data along with weighting variables and additional generated data, 9% would like the data with weighting variables only, and 26% would just like the checked data (see Figure 2).

A total of 974 users completed the survey, which consisted of 35 questions. For around 63% of these users, this was their first SOEP User Survey. Most of the respondents (62%) were between 21 and 40 years of age.

Figure 1: Satisfaction with Aspects of SOEP Data Quality – Rating scale from 0 (completely dissatisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied)

Figure 2: Interest in Receiving SOEP Data Earlier

The SOEP information booth at conferences

In summer 2023, the SOEP will have an information booth at ESRA in Milan, and a number of SOEP team members will be making presentations at the conference. Knut Wenzig will be giving presentations on “GitLab at the Socio-Economic Panel” and “State of the DDI Cloud”, the latter with Xiaoyao Han. Knut Wenzig will be chairing the session “State of the Metadata Infrastructure” together with Daniel Bela (LIfBi) and Arne Bethmann (SHARE Germany). If you are attending ESRA, please stop by our information booth to talk with us and find out more about what’s happening at the SOEP!

New SOEP Vice Director

Sabine Zinn, Head of Survey Management and Methodology at the Socio-Economic Panel, was appointed Vice Director of SOEP by the Board of Trustees of DIW Berlin as of December 1, 2022. She has taken over this task in rotation from Jan Goebel, Head of the SOEP Research Data Center.

Sabine Zinn is a professor of social science methods with a focus on survey methodology at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. She is an applied statistician working on questionnaire development, field coordination, sampling, and treatment of missing values in SOEP. She also conducts research on migration and education and on the use of simulations in the social sciences. She studied mathematical economics, received her PhD in computer sciences, and earned her post-doctoral habilitation in survey statistics and demography. Before coming to the SOEP, she worked as a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock in the field of statistical demography, as a statistician in the National Education Panel Study (NEPS) at the University of Bamberg, and as head of the unit of survey statistical methods at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories in Bamberg.


First findings from the survey “Refugees from Ukraine in Germany”

How are Ukrainian refugees doing since they arrived in Germany after the start of the war a year ago? The representative IAB-BiB/FReDA-BAMF-SOEP study “Refugees from Ukraine in Germany” provides answers. A total of 11,763 refugees were interviewed between August and October 2022. Detailed findings from the first wave of the survey (PDF, 3.42 MB) were published by the project partners in a joint publication on February 16, 2023.

Key findings include:

  • Intentions to stay: 37% of the refugees would like to stay in Germany forever or for several years, 34% until the end of the war, 27% are still undecided, and 2% plan to leave Germany again within a year.
  • Demographics: 80% of adult refugees are women. 77% of them came to Germany without a partner, 48% with minor children, and 12% with a partner and minor children.
  • Educational level: 72% of the refugees have a university degree and therefore a high level of education compared to the overall population of Ukraine.
  • German language skills: Only a few refugees had a good knowledge of German at the time of the survey (4%).
  • Housing: 74% of respondents live in private housing, only 9% in shared housing.
  • Employment: 17% of working-aged refugees were employed at the time of the survey. 71% of employed refugees had a job requiring a vocational or university degree.

What the COVID-19 measures accomplished

    A recent study based on data from SOEP-CoV shows that the prevention and occupational safety measures put in place during the pandemic not only reduced the risk of infection, but also created a climate of workplace safety that contributed to overall better health within the workforce. SOEP-CoV is a special SOEP survey on the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was conducted by a group of researchers led by SOEP economist Carsten Schröder and published in the journal Soziale Welt.

    Tisch, A. / Meyer, S.-C. / Sommer, S. / Schröder, C. (2023): “(In)equality at the workplace? Differences in occupational safety and health measures during the Covid-19 pandemic and related employee health.” Soziale Welt (SocW) 74 (1), 116- 145. DOI: 10.5771/0038-6073-2023-1.

    How the pandemic affected people with depression

    A study by Theresa Entringer and colleagues based on SOEP-CoV data found that people who already suffered from depression before the COVID-19 pandemic were at high risk of their illness worsening during the pandemic. For people with symptoms of anxiety, however, this was not the case—no matter how severe the lockdown measures were. The paper was published in the journal European Psychiatry.

    Benke, C. / Asselmann, E. / Entringer, T. / Pané-Farré, C. (2022): “The role of pre-pandemic depression for changes in depression, anxiety, and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results from a longitudinal probability sample of adults from Germany.” European Psychiatry 65(1), E76. DOI: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2022.2339

    How teenagers are doing

    People who look back on their youth nostalgically may remember their teenage years as a happy time. But many teenagers apparently experience this phase of life quite differently, as a study based on data from the SOEP and the British longitudinal survey Understanding Society has shown. According to the study, in no other phase of life does life satisfaction decrease as much as it does between the ages of 10 and 14. The research team led by psychologist Amy Orben at the University of Cambridge sees increasing social insecurity or uncertainty during puberty as a possible cause. The study was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

    Orben, A. / Lucas, R.E. / Fuhrmann, D. / Kievit, R.A. (2022): “Trajectories of adolescent life satisfaction.” Royal Society Open Science 9, 211808. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.211808.

    Gert G. Wagner, “Selected Commentary”

    Former SOEP director and DIW Berlin Executive Board member Gert Wagner can look back on a long and successful career. Between 1971 to 2022 alone, he published numerous opinion pieces in major newspapers, thus disseminating his research findings to the broader public. An updated collection of his commentary and opinion pieces (in German) has now been published.

    Honors and appointments of SOEP staff

    • Markus M. Grabka has been appointed to the Scientific Commission of the Swiss Household Panel.
    • Gert G. Wagner has been appointed Associate Editor of the Quantitative Psychology and Measurement section of the international journals Frontiers in Psychology and Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics.
    • Gert G. Wagner has been also named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) in the United States.

    Doctoral dissertation

    Christoph Halbmeier successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on “Empirical Essays on Inequality” at Freie Universität on December 12, 2022. His first supervisor was Carsten Schröder, second supervisor Eva Sierminska (LISER).  Congratulations and continued success from the SOEP!


    Emilija Meier-Faust presented her paper “Unequal opportunities in high school—Interactions of socioeconomic background and personality in predicting school performance” on March 1, 2023, at the 2023 Society for Empirical Educational Research (GEBF) Conference at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

    SOEP departure

    At the start of the new year, Katja Schmidt joined the Institute for Social Sciences in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as a researcher.

    Thank you for your contributions to the SOEP! We congratulate you on your exciting new career endeavors and wish you all the best for the future.

    Welcome to SOEP!

    Blanka Imre joined the SOEP team in January 2023 as a member of Carsten Schröder’s Applied Panel Analysis division. She will be working on the further development of the Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF).

    Peter A. Berger Prize awarded for a dissertation using SOEP data

    For her dissertation “Social Consequences of Labour Market Marginalisation in Germany. Analysing the Impact of Social Identities and Values,” Carlotta Giustozzi received the Peter A. Berger Prize of the Social Inequality and Social Structure Analysis section of the German Sociological Association (DGS) for the best dissertation in the last two years (together with Katharina Kunißen). Carlotta Giustozzi’s dissertation focuses on the social consequences of labor market marginalization for close social relationships and social participation in Germany. She shows that financial problems only marginally explain social exclusion. Instead, social roles, norms, and identity are crucial for labor market marginalization. Her dissertation was published in July 2022 by Verlag Barbara Budrich.

    RDM Project Grants (KonsortSWD)

    Do you have data collections that could be useful to the scientific community? RDM project grants support researchers in preparing and making available relevant new data collections for secondary use with the aim of facilitating the dissemination of qualitative or quantitative data troves that have not yet been archived or made available to the scientific community. By collaborating with research data centers (RDCs), data owners can make their unique data available to scientific research communities and benefit from the RDCs’ professional data management services, thereby enhancing the visibility of their data and the impact of their research. KonsortSWD will be awarding RDM project grants again in 2024. The deadlines are:

    • Call for applications: March 2023
    • Application deadline: September 30, 2023
    • Announcement of funding: end of June 2024
    • Earliest start of funding: October 1, 2024

    Call for Papers: Seminar at IUC Dubrovnik

    Our project partner in the SOEP-LEE2 project, Wenzel Matiaske from Helmut Schmidt University (HSU) Hamburg, is organizing a seminar at the Inter-University Centre (IUC) Dubrovnik from October 2 to 6, 2023. The aim of the seminar is to bring together researchers working with LEE (Linked Employer-Employee) data and to prepare a special issue of the journal management revue – Socio-Economic Studies (MREV). For further information check the Call for Papers.

    Call for Papers (Abstracts): General Online Research 2023, 20–22 September 2023, University of Kassel

    The programme committee invites presenters from industry, academia, official statistics, government agencies, and other sectors. Submissions will be accepted based on a double-blind peer review process.

    Submission Types:

    • Survey Research: Advancements in Online and Mobile Web Surveys (Track A)
    • Data Science: From Big Data to Smart Data(Track B)
    • Politics, Public Opinion and Communication (Track C)
    • Best Practice Presentations (including the GOR Best Practice Award 2023 competition)
    • Posters (including the GOR Poster Award 2023 competition)
    • Thesis Presentations (including the GOR Thesis Award 2023 competition)


    • 31 March 2023:Deadline for abstract submissions for Tracks A – C
    • 30 April 2023:Deadline for abstract submissions for GOR Best Practice Award 2023, GOR Thesis Award 2023 and the Track D Session “Innovation in Practice”
    • 31 May2023: Deadline for Poster submissions (incl. GOR Poster Award 2023) and presenting author registration (usually the first author)
    • 15 June 2023:Deadline for early bird registration & for poster presenters registration (usually the first author)

    GOR is organized by the German Society for Online Research (DGOF) since 1997. Partner and Co-Organizer: University of Kassel, Prof. Dr. Bettina Langfeldt. The official conference language is English.

    Abstracts should be submitted online to one of the tracks.

    The abstract can be up to 350 words. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed with respect to the quality of each of the four paragraphs in the abstract.

    Conference website, abstract submission, workshops:


    Call for Papers: Stata Users Group Meeting 2023

    The 19th German Stata Conference takes place on 16 June 2023 at the Humboldt University of Berlin. All Stata users, from Germany and elsewhere, or those interested in learning about Stata, are invited to attend.

    Presentations topics:

    • User-written Stata programs
    • Case studies of research or teaching using Stata
    • Discussions of data management problems
    • Reviews of analytic issues
    • Surveys or critiques of Stata facilities in specific fields, etc.

    The conference language will be English, due to the international nature of the meeting and the participation of non-German guest speakers.

    Call for Papers: Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies (SLLS)

    We invite submissions for the 12th conference of the SLLS “Life Courses in Times of Uncertainty”, hosted by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, between 9-11 October 2023, with post conference workshops on 12 October. Submission deadline: Friday 31st March 2023

    ASI prize for peer-reviewed journal articles by young researchers

    This year, the working group of social science institutes (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialwissenschaftlicher Institute, ASI) is again awarding a prize for peer-reviewed journal articles (both substantive and methodological) by young researchers.

    8th European User Conference for EU-Microdata

    The 8th European User Conference for EU-Microdata provides an international forum for the exchange of research based on EU-SILC, EU-LFS, AES, CVTS; SES, CIS, EHIS and HBS data. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers working with EU-Microdata not only to encourage the discussion within the research community on both substantive and methodological issues, but also to offer researchers the opportunity to give feedback to Eurostat. The conference offers furthermore the possibility to discuss needs of the research community with Eurostat. Researchers of all disciplines who are interested in EU-LFS, EU-SILC and/or other European microdata disseminated by Eurostat are encouraged to participate. Topics to be addressed at the 8th European User Conference include Covid-19, health, labour market, gender, poverty, innovation processes, environment and energy, and methods.

    The conference fee is EUR 120. Online Registration: here

    For any further questions:

    Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) announces funding for junior research groups through the Funding Network for Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (FIS)

    On February 27, 2023, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) announced funding for junior research groups through the Funding Network for Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (FIS), which was founded in 2016 with the goal of strengthening independent social policy research in Germany. The funding for junior research groups is focused on the topics of “investment value and social benefits of social policy”, “regional disparities and social policy”, and “social dimensions of climate policy”.

    There is a two-stage application procedure: First, institutions and young researchers can express interest by submitting a project outline. Second, a selection will be made based on the outlines, and those selected will be invited to apply.

    For more details on the topics and administrative framework, see the announcement and the guidelines for the promotion of research and teaching in the field of social policy