IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A (Very Slightly Critical) Encomium to the SOEP

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

The SOEP is the second most widely-used household survey worldwide (behind the American PSID), and it is used far beyond the German-speaking world. Partly this widespread usage is due to the helpful translations of the codebooks and variable names and the homogenization of the dataset by the Cornell group in the CNEF. Partly too, it has resulted from the data themselves - their breadth and the care with which they have been collected. The biggest strength of the SOEP is, of course, the remarkably high quality of the data. Few researchers appreciate this - we use whatever data we can lay our hands on to develop/ test our theories. We economists are among the worst sinners in this dimension. The SOEP's biggest strength has been its continuing renewal - adding refresher and additional samples that concentrate on new populations of interest. The expansion to include the Neue Länder in 1990; the enlargement of the immigrant sample; and particularly the inclusion of special samples, such as that of high-income households, have both maintained the representativeness of the survey and, more important in my view, created the SOEP's unique status as a source of longitudinal information on particular sub-populations. The renewals of the sample are the biggest assurance to researchers and to the policy and intellectual publics that, we hope, pay attention to our work, that any results reflect contemporary experience in Germany..

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 77 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 192-194

in new window

Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:77-3-15
Contact details of provider: Postal: Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin
Phone: xx49-30-89789-0
Fax: xx49-30-89789-200
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:77-3-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.