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