The “socio-economic panel” is a figurehead at the German Institute for Economic Research under Marcel Fratzscher. But the flagship department runs into financial difficulties. Well-known scientists are now getting involved.
So Germany’s social scientists do not see prominent names under a solidarity address every day: the sociologist Jutta Allmendinger, who heads the Berlin Science Center (WZB). The behavioral economist Armin Falk, who caused a sensation with his experiments on economic behavior. The sociologist Steffen Mau, who presented the scientific psychogram of East Germany with “Lütten Klein”. Ifo economist Andreas Peichl, who is in discussion for the economic modes. A total of ten well-known social researchers argue with an open letter for a department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) under President Marcel Fratzscher. And not for just anybody. It is about the “Socio-Economic Panel” (SOEP).
For almost 40 years, people in Germany have been asked about all possible aspects of their life every year, currently around 13,000 households with around 30,000 people. Who is there is asked again and again. In this way, developments over time can be recognized. For years, the SOEP was the most prestigious population study in the world, it is considered one of the most important data sources on social inequality in Germany, serves as the basis for the happiness atlas every year and has only just provided Germany with the knowledge that since the outbreak of the corona pandemic there have been ten recognized cases in Germany eight people come in whom the disease has remained undetected. Hundreds of other scientists also work with the SOEP. The FAS also repeatedly uses data from the panel.