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SOEP Innovation Sample


  • Title: soep-is
  • SOEP Innovation-Sample
  • doi: 10.5684/soep.is.2016.2
  • Authors: SOEP-IS Group
  • Publications using these data should cite the DOI (doi:10.5684/soep.is.2016.2) and include the following reference:
    Richter, David, and Jürgen Schupp. 2015. The SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP IS). Schmollers Jahrbuch 135 (3), 389-399 (doi: 10.3790/schm.135.3.389)

Study info

The research infrastructure SOEP at DIW Berlin established a longitudinal Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) in 2011 for particularly innovative research projects. The SOEP-IS is primarily available for methodical and thematic research that involves too high a risk of non-response for the long-term SOEP study.

SOEP-IS is based on an evaluation conducted by the German Council of Science and Humanities. is a longitudinal sample for particularly innovative survey methods and behavioral experiments.

A two-step module of Governance is established to regulate topics and question modules: first, the SOEP survey management runs a basic methodological test to establish whether the size, format, and survey mode outlined in a proposal seem appropriate for implementation in the SOEP-IS. The SOEP Survey Committee then checks the content of proposals received and prioritizes these for selection purposes. Information about SOEP-IS in general and about the application process is published in: SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) - Description, Structure and Documentation by David Richter and Jürgen Schupp (SOEPpaper 463).


All samples of SOEP are multi-stage random samples that are regionally clustered. The respondents (households) are selected by random-walk. The SOEP-IS is conducted using CAPI exclusively. In principle, an interviewer tries to obtain face-to-face interviews with all members of a given survey household aged 16 and over. Additionally, one person (head of household) is asked to complete a household questionnaire covering information on housing, housing costs, and different sources of income. This also includes some questions about children up to 16 years of age in the household (e.g., kindergarten attendance, elementary school attendance, etc.)

Data access

To ensure the confidentiality of respondents’ information, the SOEP adheres to strict security standards in the provision of SOEP-IS data. The data are reserved exclusively for research use, that is, they are provided only to the scientific community. For individuals and institutions that already have a valid SOEP data distribution contract, an informal application can be submitted to the SOEP in the form of a letter or e-mail requesting a supplemental contract allowing expanded use of the SOEP data. After users have signed or updated their data distribution contract with DIW Berlin, they will receive the SOEP-IS dataset by personalized encrypted download. At the SOEP Data Research Center, users can also access small-scale regional data that can be linked to the SOEP-IS data. Additional information and all the required forms can be found on the SOEP webpage.

Data description

data description
H Variables from the Household Question Module
P Variables from the Individual Question Module
INNO Variables from the Innovation Modules
BIO Variables from the Life Course Question Module
BIOBIRTH Birth Biography of Female Respondents
BIOBRTHM Birth Biography of Male Respondents
KID Pooled Dataset on Children
BIOAGE Variables from the Modules of Questions on Children
HGEN Household-related Status and Generated Variables
PGEN Person-related Status and Generated Variables
PPFAD Person-related Meta-dataset
HBRUTTO Household-related Gross File
PBRUTTO Person-related Gross File
HHRF Household-related Weighting Factors
PHRF Person-related Weighting Factors

The datasets are available for Stata and SPSS in versions with German and English labels.

Samples and fieldwork

In 2016, more than 5,500 adult respondents in more than 3,500 households participated in the SOEP-Innovation Sample. Many of these women and men have been answering core SOEP questions since 1998 as part of an extension sample to the SOEP, while others entered in 2009. These individuals provide a wealth of longitudinal data to the SOEP Innovation Sample. Within the framework of the SOEP-Innovation Sample, additional samples were recruited in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016.

Data Collection

The annual fieldwork runs from September to December of each year. The first wave of the first subsample of the SOEP-IS started in September 2011, with a newly developed core questionnaire “SOEP Innovations” and new methods to measure gender stereotypes. The overall volume and costs of the surveys conducted in the SOEP-IS are lower than if “fresh” samples were used: central household and individual characteristics, invariant over time, are already available and do not have to be collected again.

Study info

Name: soep-is

Label: SOEP-IS

Datasets: 22

Variables: 6471

Instruments: 10

Questions: 4378


Name Label Conceptual Period Analysis unit
bio Variables from the Life Course Question Module questionnaires long person
bioage Variables from the Modules of Questions on Children questionnaires long person
biobirth Birth Biography of Female and Male Respondents tracking long person
bioparen Biography Information for Respondents‘ Parents questionnaires long person
cognit Data on cognitive potential questionnaires long person
h Variables from the Household Question Module questionnaires long household
hbrutto Household-related Gross File gross long household
hgen Household-related Status and Generated Variables generated long household
hhrf Weighting and staying probabilities weights long household
idrm Person-related Data from Innovative DRM Module questionnaires long person
idrm_esm Person-related Data from Innovative DRM/ESM Module questionnaires long person
iesm Person-related Data from Innovative IESM Module questionnaires long person
inno Variables from the Innovation Modules questionnaires long person
inno_h Variables from the Innovation Modules on Household Level questionnaires long household
intv Information on Interviewers questionnaires long person
irisk Person-related Data from Innovative RISK Module questionnaires long person
kid Pooled Dataset on Children tracking long person
p Variables from the Individual Question Module questionnaires long person
pbrutto Person-related Gross File gross long person
pgen Person-related Status and Generated Variables generated long person
phrf Weighting and staying probabilities weights long person
ppfad Person-related Meta-dataset tracking long person


Name Label Period Analysis Unit
soep-is-2011 Questionnaire 2011 2011
soep-is-2012-aufwuchs Questionnaire 2012 (Boost Sample) 2012
soep-is-2012-haupt Questionnaire 2012 2012
soep-is-2013-a Questionnaire 2013 (Boost Sample) 2013
soep-is-2013-f Questionnaire 2013 2013
soep-is-2014-a Questionnaire 2014 (Boost Sample) 2014
soep-is-2014-f Questionnaire 2014 2014
soep-is-2015 Questionnaire 2015 2015
soep-is-2016-a Questionnaire 2016 (Boost Sample) 2016
soep-is-2016-f Questionnaire 2016 2016

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