The Microdata and Methodology Development Research Group pools the expertise for microdata analysis from the Institute's fields of competence and supports them in methodological issues.
Microdata originate from surveys and other statistical surveys that depict subjective and objective information of individual units such as persons, households or firms. The data enable application-oriented and policy-advisory analyses because they provide a representative picture of society. In addition to descriptive evaluations of, for example, income distribution, educational structure and corporate structures, microdata can also be used to identify correlations between variables. IW researchers use microdata in the areas of the labor market, education, public budgets and distribution, demographics, financial and real estate markets, and energy.
The IW has gained much experience in analyzing German and international microdata sets. Among them, for example, are the following:
- Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)
- Survey of Income and Consumption (EVS)
- General Population Survey of the Social Sciences (ALLBUS)
- Official Company Data for Germany (AFiD)
- Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)
- European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)
- Labor Force Survey (LFS)
- Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS)
- International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
In addition to its expertise in data analysis and econometric evaluation procedures, the Microdata and Methodology Development Research Group combines expertise in the field of simulation and forecasting models and supports the cross-institutional integration and further development of microdata-based models:
IW Population Forecast
The IW population forecast is a stochastic population forecast. Unlike the projections of official statistics, the uncertainty about future development is not represented by scenarios. Instead, forecast intervals depict the range of possible development. The IW population forecast covers the period up to 2035, and the record immigration of 2015 is included in the calculations of the future population level. The forecast thus differs from the 13th Coordinated Population Projection of the Federal Statistical Office not only in terms of methodology, but also in terms of its timeliness. (Contact: Philipp Deschermeier)
Previous studies have found substantial support across Europe for the creation of a universal basic income system. Yet as Matthias Diermeier and Judith Niehues explain, there is also widespread support for restricting the access of immigrants to state benefits. Drawing on new research, they assess how these two perspectives shape wider attitudes toward welfare.
The literature on immigration and the welfare state describes a trade-off between immigration and welfare support. We argue for a more nuanced view of welfare chauvinism that accounts for different motivational channels, specific welfare programs and particular population subgroups.
Data for the time before the corona pandemic reveal a largely positive picture of the economic and social development in Germany. Most individuals perceived their own situation as very positive, but their views on society are rather pessimistic and overly critical.
In 2018, roughly every second German was a member of the middle class as measured by income, a proportion which has barely changed for more than a decade. However, the lower income threshold of this middle-income group has risen - an indication of increased prosperity.
A lively democracy thrives on the struggle between different interest groups for majority opinion on specific issues. Though the institutionalised process of balancing interests and hearing opposing points of view takes time, acceptance of these parliamentary procedures is essential for the functioning of our pluralistic democracy.