Margaret Levenstein photo

Expanding International Microdata Access: Linked German Survey and Administrative Data

a MiCDA Research Project Description

Investigators: Margaret Levenstein, Daniela Elisabeth Hochfellner

Funding: National Science Foundation, 2013-2016 (SES1326365)

Over the last years, the utilization of administrative data for purposes of empirical research in social sciences has continuously grown. The inherited characteristics of administrative data provide researchers an excellent basis for the study of important and complex topics which are prevalent in modern societies. Nevertheless, a limiting factor of administrative data is that access to these resources is highly restricted - especially for US administrative data. The situation is slightly different for German administrative data provided by the Research Data Center (FDZ) of the German Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). Compared to the U.S. data on employment and unemployment spells are easy available both for German researchers as well as those residing outside the country. The idea of the RDC-in-RDC is to provide data users access to administrative data at other RDCs, data enclaves, etc. which share comparable standards with regard to data protection and the perseverance of confidentiality. Researchers can access the confidential data via a secure Internet connection, with the data themselves remaining in Nuremberg. Using so-called thin client computers, data users log via a secure internet connection onto a server in Germany.

Research Signature Theme:

Economics of Saving and Retirement in the U.S.

Country of Focus: Germany