Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Panel Study "Labour Market and Social Security"

Project Number


Head of Project

Project Staff

Project Start

August 2006

End of Project

December 2023


The Panel "Labour Market and Social Security" conducted by the IAB is intended to create a new database which will allow the analysis of social processes and the non-intended side-effects of labour market reforms. It is two research questions in particular which show why such a database is necessary: As the basic income support for job-seekers (Grundsicherung für Arbeitsuchende) is a social benefit granted at the household level, the situation of benefit recipients has to be analysed in a household context if both the individual and social effects of the reform are to be adequately investigated. The same applies to the adequate evaluation of labour market policy measures, as strategies of active labour market policy always relate to circumstances of life that are typical for each particular household and that develop their effects in dependence on such individual contexts. A further question that can hardly be answered without recourse to the internal social and economic structures of households is that of the gender-specific impacts of individual measures and the significance of women's and men's work and employment orientation for overcoming the need to rely on benefits. For this reason it seemed reasonable to design PASS as a household survey. Placing the focus of research on the contexts and dynamics of households living in poverty made a longitudinal study design necessary, a fact that is taken into account by drafting PASS as a Panel Study. Such a design does not only allow event history analysis of the entries into, and exits from drawing benefits and their relation to individual events or social and labour market policy measures according to SGB II; it also facilitates a widening of the research perspective to include typical patterns of perpetuation of the need to rely on benefits found at the individual or household level. In addition, it is also possible to pinpoint the pathways out of dependency and towards (re-)integration into gainful employment intended by the SGB II. And here, in turn, it is also possible to investigate to what extent the bundle of measures provided by the SGB II facilitate such integration, given the particular household composition of the target households. In addition to this, three further methodological particularities of the Panel "Labour Market and Social Security" should be mentioned: (a) the combination of two – roughly similarly large – subsamples, each of c. 6,000 households; (b) the survey is conducted as a mixed mode survey combining telephone interviews (CATI) and personal interviews (CAPI); (c) the survey is administered in various languages. Point (a) results from the fact that, even though the key research questions of PASS are strongly linked to different aspects of drawing assistance according to SGB II, it will not be possible to answer all of these questions based on a sample made up solely of SGB II-benefit recipients. Examples of such important questions that can be answered using PASS are those concerning paths into and out of dependence on state transfer payments; changes in the social situations of households and persons receiving benefits; the subjective way in which people cope with being unemployed for long periods of time and with being dependent on state transfer payments, as well as the possible changes in behaviourally relevant attitudes of the respondents that might occur over time; respondents' contact to the institutions providing basic income support for job-seekers and the institutional practices applied in order to reintegrate recipients into the labour market. In particular for the analysis of processes of entry into receipt of benefits, for the generation of control groups and for the assessment of living conditions, information about groups of the population that are not receiving benefits is required in order to properly answer the questions illustrated above. For this reason, in addition to the first subsample for which need communities were drawn from the Federal Employment Agency's register data, PASS includes a second subsample covering the general population, with an overrepresentation of low-income households. The second special feature of the study (b), the use of both telephone and personal interviews, can be explained by the fact that for some groups of the population it might prove quite difficult to contact them via landline phone. In order to avoid systematically missing data that might arise from this, persons who cannot be reached by landline phone are contacted by CAPI interviewers. The third point (c), administering interviews in several languages, results from the fact that migrants find themselves in precarious living situations more often than other parts of the population, and that for those of them that have a poor command of the German language this will most likely set an additional hurdle to finding a job. In order to ensure that there are no systematical missing data for this important target group, administering the interviews not only in German but also in the respective mother tongues of two important groups of migrants, namely in Turkish and Russian, as well as in English as a language which is frequently spoken by persons of various nationalities, is important.