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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Panel Study 'Labour Market and Social Security' (PASS)

PASS Survey Data

PASS-ADIAB – PASS survey data linked to administrative data of the IAB


PASS Survey Data

Data source:

The Panel ‘Labour Market and Social Security’ (PASS) is an annual household survey which is conducted by order of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). For the nineth wave of the panel study between February 2015 and September 2015, approximately 13,300 persons in nearly 9,000 households were interviewed. About 11,700 of these persons and more than 7,800 of these households have participated multiple times.

The applied survey design is a two-stage random sample including 300 postal code areas drawn in a first step, from which household communities in joint receipt of benefits taken from the register data and households from a residential buildings sample are drawn in a second step. The survey units consist of two partial populations: persons and households in receipt of Unemployment Benefit II and persons and households registered as residents of Germany. These two random samples which were drawn for the first wave of the panel study were continued. Additionally, refreshment samples of households that newly claimed Unemployment Benefit II were drawn for the following waves in order to guarantee cross-sectional representativeness for Unemployment Benefit II recipients and to observe a sufficient amount of transitions into Unemployment Benefit II recipiency.

Initially, a personal interview was carried out with the heads of all selected households. Subsequently, members aged 15 or over were interviewed. Persons aged 65 or over were presented with an abridged questionnaire referred to as a pensioner's questionnaire.

The panel is updated yearly.


PASS is a novel dataset in the field of labour market, welfare state and poverty research in Germany, established by the IAB. Due to the number of cases included and its annual performance, PASS is a new central source for analyses of the labour market and poverty situation in Germany as well as the situation of recipients of benefits in accordance with the German Social Code Book II. The following central questions can be answered on the basis of the panel data:

  • What options exist to regain independence from Unemployment Benefit II?
  • In which ways does the social and economic situation of a household change when it receives benefits?
  • How do persons concerned cope with their situation? Does their attitude towards action necessary to improve their situation change over time?
  • What form does contact take between benefit recipients and institutions providing basic social care? What are the actual institutional procedures applied in practice?

Furthermore, PASS also offers information beyond its central issues of employment and unemployment, comprising a variety of socio-demographic characteristics and subjective indicators such as contentment, fears and problems or employment orientation.

Please find more detailed information on the dataset in the outline. All questionnaires and the related FDZ Datenreport are available under working tools.

Scientific use files have also been developed from the PASS dataset, which are available from the FDZ for external researchers. For further information please go to data access.

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PASS-ADIAB – PASS survey data linked to administrative data of the IAB

PASS is additionally available as a version in which the survey data are linked with administrative data: PASS-ADIAB. This dataset makes it possible to analyze survey and administrative data for the PASS respondents simultaneously. The linked administrative data set contains both variables with individual characteristics and characteristics of the establishments the respondents work at. The administrative data cover the years 1975-2010. Thus, episodes which started or ended after the actual interview are included as well.

An overview of the PASS-ADIAB dataset can be found in the outline. For more detailed information please see the FDZ Datenreport 03/2014 under working tools.

Data access is possible via on-site use and subsequently also via remote data access.

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Call for Questionnaire Modules

Call for questionnaire modules for the wave 12 of the panel study ‘Labour Market and Social Security’(only in German)

PASS Campus Files

For the purpose of academic teaching at universities and research institutes, the IAB has generated absolutely anonymised survey data of the “Panel Study ‘Labour Market and Social Security’ (PASS)”.

Further information on the PASS Campus Files