About SOEP

The SOEP Service Group

Short Description

The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) is a wide-ranging representative longitudinal study of private households, located at the German Institute for Economic Research, DIW Berlin. Every year in Germany around 30,000 respondents in nearly 11,000 households are interviewed by Kantar Public Germany.

The data provides information on all household members, consisting of Germans living in the Old and New German States, Foreigners, and recent Immigrants to Germany. The Panel was started in 1984 (access to the SOEP data).

Some of the many topics include household composition, occupational biographies, employment, earnings, health and satisfaction indicators.

Services of the Research Data Center SOEP

  • SOEP data are disseminated in several formats on one DVD, accompanied by extensive documentation (also available on our documentation sites), both as raw data and in SAS, STATA and SPSS formats.Geo-Code context data can also be accessed at DIW Berlin. The data can also be downloaded via personalized encrypted download. Training workshops (SOEPcampus) for SOEP users are held annually in Germany and abroad.
  • A remote access to sensitive regional data in the SOEP data set.
  • Furthermore, we offer SOEP data users the possibility for Research stays to enable scholars to work in a concentrated manner on their research projects while profiting from direct exchange with the members of the SOEP team at DIW Berlin and their expertise with the SOEP data.
  • The new version of our interactive program paneldata.org provides information on all variables of SOEP-Core, SOEPlong, our innovation sample SOEP-IS, SOEP pretests from past years, and the Berlin Aging Study II (Base II). The old version  SOEPinfo v.1 is restricted to SOEP-Core variables but helps generating software syntax to analyze the data. 
  • All registered users and interested persons receive a SOEPnewsletter with information on the latest developments in SOEP. You can download the newsletter directly or register to be placed on the newsletter mailing list.
  • For information and discussion we provide two mailinglists, to which you may subscribe yourself.
  • The SOEPlit database allows to search publications based on SOEP data.
  • SOEPmonitor are data series with classification numbers for labor market, education, income and subjective indicators as well as information about housing conditions.
  • In our discussion papers series SOEPpapers you will find current research results based on SOEP data with various topic tables.
  • The special module PanelWhiz provides users with a collection of STATA/SE add-ons to simplify using SOEP in longitudinal analysis.

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Organization & Financing

The SOEP Household Panel is a Service Unit of the Leibniz Association (WGL) and is located at DIW Berlin. Kantar Public Germany (Munich) carries out the fieldwork. Thereof the SOEP group of researchers not only make the data available to the research community in a more userfriendly way, but also conduct their own analyses of the data.

  • SOEP Director: Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig

SOEP was founded in 1983 as a project of Special Research Area 3 (Sfb 3), "Microanalytical Basis of Social Politics", at the Universities of Frankfurt/Main and Mannheim. The director of SOEP up to 1988 was Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Krupp, who as President of DIW Berlin and member of the SfB3 gave home to SOEP at DIW Berlin. In 1989, Prof. Gert G. Wagner took over as director, and left the position in 2011 to join the executive board of DIW Berlin. In early 2011, Prof. Jürgen Schupp (FU Berlin), previously deputy director of the SOEP, took over as SOEP director. Since 2013, Gert G. Wagner (TU Berlin) has been the representative of the SOEP on the executive board of DIW Berlin. In January 2018, Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig took over as the representative on the executive board as well as the SOEP director. The board of directors of the SOEP is formed by the director and the division heads.

From 1990 to 2002, SOEP was funded through the German National Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), partly supported by the  Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As a Service Unit of the Leibniz Association, SOEP now receives continued funding through the Joint Science Conference (GWK, former Bund-Länder Commission for Educational Planning and Research Promotion) by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the State of Berlin.

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