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Linking Possibilities

Short Description

In addition to data from our main studies, SOEP-Core and SOEP-IS, the SOEP Research Data Center (SOEP-RDC) offers a number of other datasets. These provide diverse possibilities for data linkage for example in spatial or regional analysis.


The Microm-SOEP dataset enables users to link SOEP data with small-scale indicators from the micro-marketing provider microm. The Microm indicators have been matched with SOEP data on the housing block level. To protect the confidentiality of respondents’ data in accordance with data protection law, the data linkage was carried out on site at Kantar Public, the survey institute responsible for the SOEP fieldwork, which is alone in knowing respondents’ addresses.

All survey households remain completely anonymous. For security reasons—due to the small-scale nature of the data—analysis is only possible on specially protected SOEP computers on site at DIW Berlin.

Jan Goebel, C. Katharina Spieß, Nils R. J. Witte, Susanne Gerstenberg
Die Verknüpfung des SOEP mit MICROM-Indikatoren: Der MICROM-SOEP-Datensatz (PDF, 0.75 MB)

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Neighbourhood Effects

The project "neighbourhood effects" aims at combining existing individual-level datasets at a small scale regional level with informations on the respective neighbourhood, which are generated from different data sources. In a second step, the role of neighbourhood effects on varying outcome variables is analyzed in a social context. Possible approaches are, among others, the investigation of the importance of neighbourhood effects on the individual labor market success or the individual likelihood of receiving welfare benefits.

cooperation partner at FDZ der Bundesagentur für Arbeit im Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung:

Stefan Bender (Project Head)
Theresa Scholz (Project Liaison)

cooperation partner at Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung e. V.:

Matthias Vorell (Project Liaison)
Thomas K. Bauer (Project Liaison)

Data available at the RDC Ruhr as RWI-GEO-LAB data. Metadata: DOI 10.7807/DIWIABRWI:V1

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Longitudinal survey of migrants from the social insurance statistics

There is currently a lack of reliable empirical data in two areas of growing importance for future migration and integration research: a) data on the integration of German-born children and grandchildren of immigrants, and b) data on the integration of immigrants from countries that have joined the EU since 2004. In cooperation with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, the SOEP is creating a sample of immigrants to Germany based on administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency that will then be continued as a longitudinal household survey in the SOEP study framework. The initial linkage of survey data on migrants with administrative data - including an experiment on agreement to the linkage of register data - opens up new analytical potentials for research and policy advice, and is of major importance for the research infrastructure in Germany.

Survey data from the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample can be linked with administrative labor market and income data if the respondents in question provided explicit consent to record linkage. But since this linked dataset contains weakly anonymized social data, the datasets are only accessible on site at the Research Data Center of the German Federal Employment Agency at the IAB (FDZ IAB). Researchers can use FDZ IAB data on a guest visit to the IAB or through remote data processing, which can also be arranged with the IAB. Requests for data access should be directed to FDZ IAB, since a contract with IAB for data use is required (further information).

Philipp Simon Eisnecker, Klaudia Erhardt, Martin Kroh, Parvati Trübswetter
The Request for Record Linkage in the IAB-SOEP Migration Sample (PDF, 433.04 KB)

Philipp Eisnecker, Martin Kroh
The Informed Consent to Record Linkage in Panel Studies: Optimal Starting Wave, Consent Refusals, and Subsequent Panel Attrition

Armin Falk, Fabian Kosse
Early Childhood Environment, Breastfeeding and the Formation of Preferences (PDF, 0.86 MB)

Fabian Kosse, Thomas Deckers, Hannah Schildber-Hörisch, Armin Falk
The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (PDF, 0.58 MB)


In cooperation with the Research Data Center of the German Pension Insurance (FDZ-RV), we implement a record linkage of SOEP household survey data with administrative individual employment/retirement biographies, which are available on a monthly basis for employees since age 14.

The 2018 SOEP-RV RTBN Scientific Use File became available on September 1, 2021, as special sample “SOEP-RV.RTBN2018.” The sample includes 2,120 SOEP respondents who agreed to have their survey data linked to anonymized data from the Research Data Center of the German Pension Insurance Association (FDZ-RV). The file merges detailed account information on pension entitlements as well as pension payment amounts with SOEP sociodemographic data on material well-being and the like at both the individual and household levels. The codebook for this dataset and how to order it can be found on this page of the Forschungsdatenzentrum der Rentenversicherung (FDZ-RV)


There is increasing consensus in the economic and social sciences that the workplace plays a crucial role in individual life outcomes. This is true in the economic and sociological labor market research, network and social capital research, health research, the research on educational and competency acquisition processes, wage information, and the work-life interface, as well as in the inequality research as a whole. For this reason, there has been increasing interest in what are known as "linked employer-employee" (LEE) datasets, in which employees' individual data are linked with information on their employers.

The workplace data collected in the framework of the project SOEP-LEE will substantially expand the information on the work contexts and working conditions of respondents to the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) survey. The project has been implemented by asking all dependent employees in all of the SOEP samples to provide local contact information to their employer in 2011. The employer contact data then formed the basis for a standardized employer survey conducted seperately from the rest of the SOEP survey. This employer information can be linked with the individual and household data from the SOEP study. The new linked employer-employee dataset opens up new opportunities for wide-ranging forms of secondary analysis with innovative questions from wide range of disciplines in the social and economic sciences. An additional unique feature of SOEP-LEE is the analysis of employer survey data quality, carried out through the measurement of meta- and paradata over the course of data collection. As a result, this project also contributes to the ongoing development and refinement of survey methodology in the field of organizational studies.

The perspective of inequality theory provides the thematic focus for the employer survey. The central question is how inequalities in access to key resources and life opportunities come into being at the workplace level. The central dimensions of inequality under consideration here are: income; education and opportunities to realize educational investments in terms of chances of status gain or loss; returns to working life; and opportunities to balance work and family. We assume that the different groups of employees within a given company experience different restrictions and opportunities - in other words, that different employee groups differ in their access to further education or in the opportunities available to them to balance career and family. Furthermore, the data make it possible to analyze the results of the different heterogeneity conditions in companies (e.g., employment forms such as limited-term contracts, use of temporary employment and similar "atypical" employment forms, the gender composition, age structure, and educational structure of the workforce) in creating inequalities.

Data access via the Research Data Center for Business and Organizational Data (FDZ-BO). DOI: 10.7478/s0549.1.v1

The linking of SOEP context data is possible on the guest computers of the SOEP Research Data Centre at DIW Berlin as well as the SOEP-remote computers in Bielefeld and Konstanz.

Description of the project


Michael Weinhardt, Alexia Meyermann, Stefan Liebig, Jürgen Schupp
The Linked Employer-Employee Study of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP-LEE): Project Report

TNS Infratest Sozialforschung, Michael Weinhardt
Erhebungsinstrumente und Datenkodierung der Betriebsbefragung des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels

Sebastian Bechmann, Kerstin Sleik
Methodenbericht der Betriebsbefragung des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels

Michael Weinhardt
Datenhandbuch der Betriebsbefragung des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels

Michael Weinhardt, Alexia Meyermann, Stefan Liebig, Jürgen Schupp
The Linked Employer–Employee Study of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP-LEE): Content, Design and Research Potential. Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik - Journal of Economics and Statistics 2017, 237 (5), 457-467. (

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Titel: K²ID-SOEP extension study

DOI: 10.5684/k2id-soep-2013-15/v1
Collection Period: 2013-2015
Publication date:2017-09-08
Principal investigators: Pia S. Schober, C. Katharina Spieß
Further Researchers: Juliane F. Stahl, Georg F. Camehl

K2ID is short for „Kinder und Kitas in Deutschland“ and refers to the German name of the surveys carried out as part of a project entitled “Early childhood education and care quality in the Socio-Economic Panel” (K²ID-SOEP).

It aims at investigating effects of the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions on children’s development and parents’ employment and wellbeing. It also examines socio-economic differences in parental choices of ECEC quality and whether they are linked to information asymmetries between mothers and ECEC providers.

The data collection of K2ID is based on participants of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). In addition, participants of the “Families in Germany” (FID) study (which is in the process of being integrated with the SOEP) were also included in the sampling frame. From this group of people those with one or more children below school age at the date of the survey were given an additional questionnaire concerning their child care arrangements with a focus on quality. In case they used an ECEC institution they were also asked to provide the address of this institution and, if applicable to identify the specific group which their children attend. In a second step the ECEC institution directors and group educators were also given a questionnaire to collect additional information on quality in the respective setting.

More information on the study and data collection on the Homepage

Since October 2017, the data from the K2ID-SOEP survey have been passed on within the framework of the Research Data Center SOEP.

Documentation and Questionnaires

Questionnaires are only available in German by now, English versions will follow.

Questionnaire for parents:

Questionnaire for child-minders:

Questionnaire for daycare managers:



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