News of SOEP http://www.diw.de/en/diw_02.c.221179.en/news_and_events.html News, Press Releases and job offers of SOEP en http://diw.de/sixcms/media.php/37/thumbnails/soep-logo_kl.jpeg.458933.jpeg SOEP (DIW Berlin) http://www.diw.de/en/soep SOEPcompanion to replace DTC http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608492.en The SOEPcompanion offers users a wealth of information on the data in the main SOEP survey (SOEP-Core).

This online handbook is designed to help new users getting started with the SOEP by introducing the survey, its structure, and research potential. The SOEPcompanion provides also important information on the topics in SOEP-Core, survey design, the various subsamples, a precise explanation of the data structure, and specific instructions on working with the various SOEP data products. In sum, we believe it will become an important reference and practical manual for understanding and working with the SOEP-Core data.

Browse the beta version of our new SOEPcompanion!

Contact: Stefan Zimmermann, Selin Kara

E-mail: szimmermann@diw.de or skara@diw.de


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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 10:04:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608492.en
Information portal paneldata.org and SOEPinfo http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608490.en 1. paneldata.org

We are pleased to announce that the script generator and basket in Paneldata.org, which can be used by simply registering and logging in, have been thoroughly revised and now offer the following improved functions:

  • More intuitive design and navigation
  • Variables placed in the basket are now easier to supplement with connected variables over time.
  • A list of variables can be exported as a csv file
  • Several script generation errors have been eliminated

We will be soon be adding more features in our topic list for the SOEP-Core data as well as improved documentation on questionnaires and datasets.

2. SOEPinfo

In response to requests from many of our users, we have decided to continue providing SOEPinfo in additional to paneldata.org to generate files for analysis. Up to now, only metadata up to 2013 were available in the “old” SOEPinfo

We will soon also be adding documentation on the current wave v33 (Daten 1984-2016) for the cross-sectional data format. We thus offer users two ways to generate datasets for analysis: SOEPinfo and paneldata.org.
Documentation on long-format variables continues to be provided only in paneldata.org.


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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 10:03:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608490.en
SOEP-Core v34 – What’s New? http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608489.en 1. New, user-friendly integrated data format

In the new wave of the SOEP-Core study, we are bringing together the wide and long data formats, which were previously provided to users separately. In so doing, we aim to eliminate any confusion about what is available in which format and to make data use easier overall. After having tested SOEPlong for several years as an additional service facilitating data analysis for both beginning and longtime users, we will now be providing all datasets in “long” format as a standard part of our SOEP data release.

This means that all data users will be receiving the different SOEP data formats listed below in their data file, some of which will be in separate subdirectories. Please make sure that you unpack the entire directory structure when unpacking your data.

1.1 “Long” format on the top level

In the top-level (or root) directory, you will find all of the datasets provided up to now with SOEPlong (e.g., pl, ppfadl, etc.) as well as all of the additional datasets formerly provided only in our classic “wide” format (e.g., the biographical or spell data such as bioparen, artkalen, etc.). All of the data in the main SOEP-Core study are therefore covered by the datasets in the top-level directory.

1.2 Classic format in the subdirectory “raw”

Since we know that many users have existing scripts that are based on the original data format, and to enable users to understand the process of generating the “long” data, we provide all of the datasets in their original SOEP format in the directory “raw”. Users who want to continue using the old format simply need to switch into this subdirectory and use the datasets there. The only change is that there are now additional identifiers in all of the datasets in the “raw” directory with the name in the long format (pid and persnr or hid and $hhnrakt) and an “syear” variable so that users can easily merge variables from the two data formats.

1.3 The “long”-format SOEP data

After having provided the “long” data for several years as an additional service to facilitate data use, we are convinced that this format is easier to use especially for beginners. We have therefore decided to use this as our primary data format in future data releases. 

All available individual year-specific datasets are pooled into a single dataset (e.g. all $P datsets are integrated into the PL dataset). In some cases, this means that we have to harmonize variables over time. Harmonization is undertaken to be able to define variables consistently over time: For instance, income information is given in euros up to 2001 and not in deutschmarks, and in cases where questionnaires have changed, the categories are modified over time. All changes are presented to users in a clear and understandable way, and all modified variables are provied in their original form. SOEPlong thus significantly reduces the number of datasets and the number of variables.

A more detailed description of the future format of our SOEP-Core data releases can be found in our new SOEPcompanion

2. New EU-SILC clone

Many users are undoubtedly aware that the SOEP supports cross-national analysis with CNEF through the dataset pequiv. We have now produced a data product that allows you to use the SOEP data in comparative analyses with the EU-SILC (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) data. EU-SILC, which is provided by Eurostat upon request, offers cross-sectional and longitudinal information for many European countries. Up to now, only cross-sectional information have been available for Germany. The EU-SILC clone offers longitudinal information on private households in Germany based on the SOEP data. All of the information contained in it can be directly compared with the EU-SILC longitudinal information on other European countries. The EU-SILC clone is integrated into the standard SOEP data release (in another subdirectory). Documentation on the 2005-2016 EU-SILC clone can be found here.

3 New samples in the main SOEP study

The new SOEP data release (v34) will be the first to contain data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany as Sample M5, as well as the continuation of the PIAAC-L Survey, as Sample N.

IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees (M5)

The SOEP, in cooperation with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), has succeeded in integrating a third sample of refugee households (M5) into the SOEP study. The survey was launched in 2017. The population of M5 covers adult refugees who have applied for asylum in Germany since January 1, 2013, and are currently living in Germany. M5 added another 1,519 households of refugees who have migrated to Germany since 2013 to the SOEP framework.  

Integration of respondents from PIAAC-L as Subsample N

Sample N integrated 2,314 households of former participants of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC and PIAAC-L) in 2017. This is the most recent addition to the SOEP-Core samples. Fieldwork in sample N was conducted between mid-March and mid-August and thus slightly later than the majority of samples A–L1.  More information on the PIAAC-L project


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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:58:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608489.en
SOEP People: Five Questions to Bruce Headey http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608480.en What makes people happy? Australian Political Scientist Bruce Headey was not only one of the first SOEP data users—he was one of the first researchers in the world to discover the value of the SOEP for research on happiness. Headey is a Principal Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in the University of Melbourne. He is a specialist in welfare and distributional issues and at the forefront of current international research on the efficacy of social welfare policies in Western Europe and North America.

1. Happiness has been one focus of your research for several decades. Do your findings point to a kind of “recipe” for happiness?

One of the strange things in the West is the assumption that the same recipe for happiness would suit everybody. I don’t think that’s true. I think there are different approaches that work well for different people. People who are relatively altruistic and cooperative tend to be rather happy. Sometimes these are religious people. Other people’s happiness comes mainly through the family. What doesn’t work so well is a materialistic and careerist approach, which seems to lead to unhappiness even in those areas of life to which materialistic people give priority, such as their job and their income.

2. Your findings overturned the idea of a genetically determined “set point” for happiness across the life. That brought about a paradigm shift.

There was a period between 1985 and 2005 when Western life satisfaction researchers believed that most people had a “set point” of life satisfaction that depended on genetic personality traits. But with the panel data, it slowly became obvious that that paradigm for life satisfaction research was just wrong. There were loads of people in the SOEP—the first panel to provide this evidence—who had rather volatile patterns of life satisfaction. If you traced their life satisfaction from year to year on a graph, you could see that some people’s lives were a wild ride: They had ups and downs and periods when they were happy and periods of misery. So the set point theory was actually kicked out by the SOEP data, pure and simple.

That caused quite a stir in the scientific community ….
What always happens in all the sciences is that people fight like hell to retain the old paradigm and patch it up in weird ways. So there are still people around who say that in the long run, people may revert to a set point that might be predicted by their personality traits. But our research showed that, while personality is a stabilizing factor, happiness is also made up of a lot of choices. If you marry somebody who is more neurotic than yourself, you’re done. If you marry somebody who is rather nice and less neurotic than yourself, that permanently increases your well-being. Your work also makes a difference: People who work a lot more hours than they want to are a lot less happy than people who work about the hours they prefer. Of course, that’s not entirely your choice—it also depends on your employer.

3. Academics are relatively free to set their own working hours. Are they also more likely to end up being happy?

Academics have a wide choice of time uses and topics of research, and by and large we don’t have a boss bearing down on us all that fiercely. We also know that academics and vicars are the longest lived people on the planet—the shortest lived are doctors and dentists. The reason why people live longer if they are academics or vicars is probably connected to happiness. The occupations that people get into have an effect on longevity. People in more autonomous occupations tend to be happier…and happy people do live longer than others—that’s clear. We recently published a study on the relationship between happiness and longevity, using SOEP data, in Social Indicators Research “Happiness and Longevity: Unhappy People Die Young, Otherwise Happiness Probably Makes No Difference”.

4. If you look at the SOEP study today, what makes it unique?

It’s the only panel study in which you can observe all kinds of changes in people’s lives across three generations—there are now a number of grandparents in addition to parents and kids from the same families. As the time we observe people gets longer and longer, the more we will be able to address long-run questions about social and economic change. And in the end, I think that the idea of transgenerational structured inequality will turn out to be more untrue than true. I think ultimately SOEP will show that traditional sociology is just bilge.

5. What would you recommend to young people today who are starting a career in research?

If you’re a young researcher these days, you’re almost forced to design your research in terms of real experiments—randomized control trials—or natural experiments. And I think that the people who work on SOEP will want to combine SOEP data, maybe using it as a sort of background file, with other datasets that allow them to analyze it in an experimental or quasi-experimental way. My kids, who are young economists, can’t get stuff published in top journals unless it’s experimental or quasi-experimental. So something like the global financial crisis is a terrific opportunity: A whole lot of people take a wealth hit and you can see how they react in all kinds of ways—financially, in terms of life satisfaction, everything. But it’s getting harder and harder to publish if you’re just analyzing panel data in the way it’s collected.


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Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:45:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608480.en
Gert G. Wagner was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608218.en Gert G. Wagner was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on September 3, 2018, by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for his services to the Federal Republic of Germany. The cross was presented on November 19, 2018, by Berlin’s Secretary of State, Christian Gaebler.

As a Professor Emeritus, Gert G. Wagner continues to be very active in research and policy work: he is working as a Senior Research Fellow at the SOEP and as a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. In April, he joined the network of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society as a Research Associate. Since June, he has been a member of the newly created interdisciplinary research group “Implications of digitization for the quality of science communication" at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) in cooperation with acatech (German Academy of Science and Engineering). In July, he was appointed to the editorial board of the renowned multidisciplinary online journal PLOS One.
Recently he was re-appointed to a four-year term on the Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection by Katarina Barley, Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection.


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Mon, 26 Nov 2018 03:17:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608218.en
Jürgen Schupp re-appointed to the Rat für Kulturelle Bildung http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608214.en Jürgen Schupp was re-appointed to the Rat für Kulturelle Bildung (Council for Cultural Education) as an expert for three years until 2021.
The Rat für Kulturelle Bildung is an independent advisory board that analyzes the situation and quality of cultural education in Germany and makes recommendations based on exposés and studies for policy makers, researchers, and practical applications.


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Mon, 26 Nov 2018 03:09:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.608214.en
SOEPcampus@DIW Berlin 2019 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607954.en Our annual in-house introductory workshop to the SOEP will take place on March 5 and 6, 2019.

There will be lectures on the topics covered in the SOEP study, documentation, and sample structure, along with a variety of hands-on sessions allowing participants to go through the various steps in data preparation and analysis with assistance from SOEP team members. There is a small fee to cover food at the workshop.

Details on registration will be published on our SOEPcampus homepage by January 7, 2019.


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Thu, 22 Nov 2018 04:21:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607954.en
Report on the first CNEF User Workshop at DIW Berlin http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607953.en From November 5 to 7, DIW Berlin hosted the SOEP’s first international workshop on longitudinal data management and analysis.
In contrast to our regular German SOEP workshops, this one was devoted specifically to comparative longitudinal and cross-country designs using the SOEP and its international sister household panels. Paula Fomby of the University of Michigan and Marco Giesselmann of the SOEP introduced the 20 researchers from four continents in attendance to the SOEP and the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) over the first two days of the workshop. The third day of the workshop consisted of sessions on cross-country designs; an introduction to the CNEF project, which focuses on providing harmonized cross-national micro-data variables; and a lecture from SOEP staff member Markus M. Grabka.

In line with its commitment to expanding work in the provision and harmonization of cross-national panel data, the SOEP plans to hold workshops like these on an annual basis in the future.


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Thu, 22 Nov 2018 04:07:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607953.en
Report on the first InGRID-2 Summer School at DIW Berlin http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607952.en Summer School “Advanced Research on Integration of Migrants and Refugees” and EU-SILC Training Workshop “Comparative Research on Migration”, October 22-26, 2018

The 2018 summer school for early-stage researchers combined advanced research on the integration of refugees and migrants with training in the use of a clone of EU-SILC longitudinal data for Germany. The clone was created with the help of SOEP data and is especially valuable in the study of methodological issues in migration research. The different migration subsamples in the SOEP allow more detailed analysis of first- and later-generation migrants in Germany than the original EU-SILC sample provided by Eurostat.

The InGRID Team at DIW Berlin selected 27 of the 154 proposals submitted for the summer school. It was attended by 22 young researchers from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, and the Czech Republic. Jürgen Schupp, Vice-Director of SOEP at DIW Berlin, and Maria Metzing opened the summer school on Monday. Over the course of the week, there were four keynote speeches, eight sessions, a poster session where participants presented their work, and a training workshop on the EU-SILC clone.

The first keynote by Tuba Bircan (HIVA-KU Leuven) discussed the representation of migrants in large-scale surveys. The second keynote by Herbert Brücker (IAB, BIM, and Humboldt University Berlin) presented the theoretical framework and discussed descriptive results on the integration of refugees into the labor market. On Wednesday, Roland Verwiebe (University of Vienna) gave a third keynote “On changing social stratification of the city: Why are migrants declining from the middle of society in Vienna?” In the late afternoon, participants attended a screening of the documentary, “Iuventa,” on the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. After the film, conference participants discussed the refugee situation in the Mediterranean and the work of NGOs with one of the film’s producers and one of the main characters in the film. On Thursday, there were training workshops on EU-SILC, including a presentation by Heike Nachtigall (SOEP DIW) on EU-SILC and the SOEP clone, a presentation by Sandra Bohmann (SOEP DIW) on the SOEP, and an introduction to the clone in STATA. On Friday, Alyssa Schneebaum (WU Vienna) gave the last keynote on the “Intergenerational educational mobility of children of immigrants and natives across Europe: Evidence from the EU-SILC”.

The summer school gave participants the opportunity to present their research and receive constructive critical feedback from one of the four keynote speakers, Jürgen Schupp, Silke Hans (Georg August University Göttingen), Nicolas Legewie (SOEP / DIW Berlin), and other participants. It also featured a presentation on the InGRID-2 project with information on visiting grants and application procedures.

We thank all of the participants in the workshop for their presentations, keynote speeches, and feedback. Special thanks go to Christine Kurka (SOEP DIW) and Janina Britzke (SOEP DIW) for their support in the organization of the event.


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Thu, 22 Nov 2018 03:29:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607952.en
Joachim Herz Foundation Fellowship awarded to Magdalena Krieger http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607744.en Magdalena Krieger has been awarded a 2018 Joachim Herz Foundation “Add-on Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Economics" in the amount of 12,500 euros.
The fellowship’s aim is to support PhD students and post-docs working on interdisciplinary economic questions.

The fellowship goes to support her dissertation on immigrant families and their integration into the German labor market.


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Mon, 19 Nov 2018 05:13:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.607744.en
That was the SOEP Conference 2018 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.605125.en This year’s SOEP Conference  from July 19 to 20 was a great success. It was held at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), where the first SOEP conference— launched by Gert G. Wagner—took place 25 years earlier, in 1993.

Of the almost 100 papers submitted by researchers from 14 different countries, the scientific committee for the SOEP conference (Charlotte Bartels, Martin Biewen, Diana Schacht, Fabian Pfeffer, Holger Görg) accepted 64 submissions for presentation and nine for the poster sessions.

Keynote speeches were given by Stephen Jenkins (LSE) on “How valid are synthetic panel estimates of poverty dynamics? New evidence from HILDA and the BHPS” and by Armin Falk (briq, Bonn University) on “Global Evidence on Economic Preferences”.

A highlight of the conference was the celebration of Gert G. Wagner’s career achievements, held on the occasion of his retirement. In a special farewell ceremony, Ralph Hertwig, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, gave a presentation highlighting Gert G. Wagner’s numerous accomplishments on behalf of the SOEP and his outstanding contributions to the research.

The conference ended with an awards ceremony. First, the Felix Büchel Award was presented to Armin Falk. The prizes for the best presentations at the SOEP Conference went to three groups of researchers. The first Joachim R. Frick Memorial Prize 2018 went to Juan Palacios and his co-author Steffen Künn from Maastricht University. The second Joachim R. Frick Memorial Prize 2018 went to Benjamin Fischer and his colleague Dominik Hügle from the Freie Universität Berlin, and another second prize went to Stefanie Heyne and Jonas Voßemer from LMU Munich and the University of Bamberg. The 2018 Joachim R. Frick Best Poster Prize went to Tanja Fendel for her poster “The effect of housework on migrants' and native-born individuals’ wages”.

For details on the prize winners and a gallery of photos, please see the following websites:

Felix Büchel Award

Joachim R. Frick Memorial Prizes

Photo Gallery


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Mon, 29 Oct 2018 02:42:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.605125.en
Refugees in Germany with children still living abroad have lowest life satisfaction http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.603132.en Family strongly influences personal well-being—especially in the case of refugees, whose family members often remain in their homeland. This report is the first to closely examine the well-being and family structures of refugees who came to Germany between January 2013 and January 2016. It uses data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees in Germany. Among individuals aged between 18 and 49, nine percent have minor children living outside Germany, whereas twelve percent have a husband or wife living abroad. If the nuclear family is living in Germany—which is more often the case for women than men—refugees are measurably more satisfied with their lives. These findings are also confirmed when accounting for other potential factors for well-being. These findings should be given greater consideration—not least in the debate on family reunification—to enable successful migration, integration, and family policies. [...]


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Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:38:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.603132.en
DIW Berlin part of new Excellence Cluster analyzing global challenges for the liberal democracy and market economy model http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.601326.en DIW Berlin is part of a new Cluster of Excellence based in Berlin. Contestations of the Liberal Scripts (SCRIPTS) will analyze the contemporary controversies regarding the liberal order from a historical, global, and comparative perspective. Prof. Martin Kroh of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin is one of the 25 researchers participating in the Cluster.

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the liberal model of political and economic order faces a profound crisis. What are the causes of the current contestations of the liberal script, and what are the consequences for the global challenges of the 21st century? The Cluster will address these questions by connecting the academic expertise in the social sciences and area studies in Berlin, thereby bridging prevailing methodological and institutional divides. Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, the Centre for East European and International Studies, the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, the Hertie School of Governance, and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient are the other institutions participating in the Cluster. Based on research collaborations with universities in all world regions, SCRIPTS addresses the diversity of the contestations and their inter-connections. At the same time, the Cluster maintains close cooperative ties with major political and cultural institutions.

Excellence Clusters are far-reaching research cooperation projects in which researchers of various disciplines work together on a particularly meaningful and trend-setting topic. Excellence Clusters are funded by the German Federal State as well as the German regional states.


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Thu, 11 Oct 2018 08:00:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.601326.en
Inequality of Earnings in Germany Generally Accepted but Low Incomes Considered Unfair http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.597947.en 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 end of the earnings distribution, where respondents perceive there to be particularly severe underpayment. More rarely do respondents find that employees earning high salaries are unfairly overpaid. Perceived unfairness in the upper strata of the earnings distribution is associated with a reduction in effort at the workplace while perceived unfairness in the lower end of the earnings distribution is accompanied by a lack of participation in the democratic process.


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Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:00:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.597947.en
Michaela Engelmann retires http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.597021.en Michaela Engelmann's voice is very familiar to many data users and respondents. Since 2005, it has answered telephone inquiries from SOEP users and forwarded questions to experts in the SOEP team. Since 2008 she has also been the contact person for the SOEP interviewees at DIW Berlin. More than a dozen waves of SOEP data have been sent to researchers either as DVDs or digitally provided in encrypted form for several years, thus transmitting countless passwords.

Michaela Engelmann began working for the DIW Berlin in 1978 after completing her apprenticeship. She worked in several departments as a team assistant and later as a technical editor for the DIW before joining SOEP in 2005. Since then she has been in charge of the SOEP hotline, built up the SOEP contract management, participated in the conception and implementation of SOEP user surveys, and designed and produced several user-friendly online documentation. From 2011 to 2015, she was also responsible for compliance with the SOEP trainee training plan for market and social research trainees (FAMS).

After 40 years with DIW Berlin, the SOEP team wishes Michaela all the best for her well-deserved retirement.

From September 1, 2018, Janine Napieraj will be in charge of the SOEP hotline and will also be the first point of contact for SOEP data users in contractual matters.


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Fri, 31 Aug 2018 09:24:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.597021.en
Michaela Engelmann retires http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.596968.en Michaela Engelmann's voice is very familiar to many data users and respondents. Since 2005, it has answered telephone inquiries from SOEP users and forwarded questions to experts in the SOEP team. Since 2008 she has also been the contact person for the SOEP interviewees at DIW Berlin. More than a dozen waves of SOEP data have been sent to researchers either as DVDs or digitally provided in encrypted form for several years, thus transmitting countless passwords.

mengelmann_2018.jpg

Michaela Engelmann began working for the DIW Berlin in 1978 after completing her apprenticeship. She worked in several departments as a team assistant and later as a technical editor for the DIW before joining SOEP in 2005. Since then she has been in charge of the SOEP hotline, built up the SOEP contract management, participated in the conception and implementation of SOEP user surveys, and designed and produced several user-friendly online documentation. From 2011 to 2015, she was also responsible for compliance with the SOEP trainee training plan for market and social research trainees (FAMS).

After 40 years with DIW Berlin, the SOEP team wishes Michaela all the best for her well-deserved retirement.

From September 1, 2018, Janine Napieraj will be in charge of the SOEP hotline and will also be the first point of contact for SOEP data users in contractual matters.


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Thu, 30 Aug 2018 03:15:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.596968.en
Recent journal article about the SOEP data out now http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.596070.en Just published online: a new journal article to describe and refer to the SOEP data.

Jan Goebel, Markus M. Grabka, Stefan Liebig, Martin Kroh, David Richter, Carsten Schröder, Jürgen Schupp. 2018. The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik / Journal of Economics and Statistics (online first), doi: 10.1515/jbnst-2018-0022


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Fri, 10 Aug 2018 02:58:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.596070.en
Call: InGRID Summer school ‘EU-SILC training workshop: Comparative research on migration’ http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.595723.en An additional call for an InGRID Summer school
25 - 26 October 2018
at DIW Berlin
is open.

Deadline for applications: 3 September 2018
Information on applications: 11 September 2018

General information

The ‘EU-SILC trainings workshop: Comparative research on migration’ aims at training doctoral students or early-career researchers. It is also open to academics, policy practitioners and other interested users, who want to provide participants with opportunities to discuss their projects and to network with leading international experts and other colleagues in the field.

The summer school will take place in the center of Berlin, at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and will be hosted by the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) at the DIW Berlin. The SOEP will provide and organize logistics for the week (practical information will be given soon). 


For more information please see here.


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Fri, 03 Aug 2018 02:11:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.595723.en
Call for Papers: Quarterly Journal of Economic Research 1/2019 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.593894.en „Future of capital funded old age provision in Germany – sovereign wealth funds versus individual retirement accounts“

Editors: Timm Bönke, Markus M. Grabka and Carsten Schröder

In May 2018, the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs duly convened the pension commission “reliable inter-generational contract (Verlässlicher Generationenvertrag)”. In brief, the ambitious mission is to present “a roadmap to ensure a sustainable safeguard and advancement the old age security systems for 2025 and beyond and to build the foundation for a new and reliable inter-generational contract”.

The challenges for the German old age-security system are large. The replacement rate of the statutory pension insurance (Gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung) is today already less than 50 percent and scheduled to decline even further to 43 percent in 2030. According to estimation of the Federal Statistical Office, the old-age dependency ratio – the ratio of persons 60 and older to persons between 20 and 60 – will distinctly rise form 49.7 in 2013 to 74.5 in 2030. A development at a time where the federal grant to support the budget of the statutory pension insurance is around 91 billion Euro and hence the largest position within the annual budget of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

In the past, the Rürup-Commission introduced a course for an inter-generational balanced financing of public, company and private based old age benefits. In particular, an adjustment of the German 3-pillar-system (public, company, and private old age provisions) was agreed to and with the introduction of subsidies for private old-age provisions – the so-called Riester- and Rürup-contracts – established. Albeit the number of Riester-contracts reached 16.5 million, the effectivity of Riester products is questionable and subject to fundamental critic: the products are deemed to complex, realize only low rate of returns and administrative costs are high. Further, low-income earners, a group especially threatened by old-age poverty in the future, show very modest participation rates. Therefore, many analyst assess the policies to stimulate private old age savings as insufficient. However, there is a pronounced interest to have a strong and profitable capital funded pillar next to unfunded public pillar in the German old age security system.

One possibility to broaden the basis for old age security are sovereign wealth funds in the form of pension funds. Here, the view abroad is revealing. Many countries established sovereign wealth funds for this purpose. Pension funds invest in capital markets in order to supplement rising future pension obligations due to demographic change with the realized returns from the investments. Since the 1990, several reserve funds were established at the state and federal level in Germany to counter rising pension obligation for civil servants. These pension reserve funds can be regarded as first beginnings of pension funds in Germany.
Another path is to establish government administrated individual retirement accounts or government regulated standard old age savings products to ensure easy access to capital markets while simultaneously keeping costs to a minimum, ensuring transparency and yield high rate of returns. Again, several international role models exist (e.g. Sweden).

Aim of the envisioned Quarterly Journal of Economic Research issue is to present experiences with capital funded sovereign wealth funds and individual retirement accounts as well as hybrids of both and to establish, which international role models provide interesting solutions for the German context and what are the challenges of an implementation in Germany. Scrutinized aspects are covered individuals, the necessity for obligatory participation and basis of funding, rate of returns and investment strategies, administration, etc.

Welcome are both empirical and theoretical contributions. Political implications of presented findings should be explained and discussed. In addition, we are interested in position papers from organization, policy makers and business. The emphasis is on examples of currently existing or former sovereign wealth funds and capital funded individual retirement account schemes.

The editorial team is responsible for the issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economic Research. Authors who consider a contribution (German or English) are asked to submit an abstract (maximum 1 page) until August 31, 2018 to Markus M. Grabka (mgrabka@diw.de). Authors will receive a timely response if the contribution will be considered. Final contributions should not exceed 30.000 characters and have to be submitted by December 15, 2018. Final contributions will be subject to copyediting and a review process. The issue is scheduled to be published in spring 2019.


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Mon, 09 Jul 2018 10:12:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.593894.en
New publication: The SOEP Wave Report 2017 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.593245.en The current SOEP Wave Report 2017 has been published and is available for download.
It contains a look at the important developments in the SOEP-Core samples, innovations at SOEP-IS, the current fieldwork reports of Kantar Public as well as projects and activities of the SOEP Research Data Center. A list of all SOEPpapers and SOEP Survey Papers as well as selected scientific publications of the last year, which use the SOEP data, complete the report - all in English.

Please download here.


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Mon, 02 Jul 2018 09:57:00 +0200 http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.593245.en