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National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), Starting Cohort 4 (SC4) survey data linked to administrative data of the IAB (NEPS-SC4-ADIAB) – Version 7517 v1

DOI: 10.5164/


The data product NEPS-SC4-ADIAB is provided cooperatively by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, and the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories e.V. (LIfBi), Bamberg. NEPS-SC4-ADIAB consists of the survey and test data of Starting Cohort 4 – “School and Vocational Training: Educational Pathways of Students in Grade 9 and Higher” of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and the administrative data of the IAB. The sample of this Starting Cohort includes students who attended a ninth grade of a general school in Germany at the time of the first survey in autumn/winter 2010. As long as a respondent attends a general school, contextual persons such as parents, teachers and principals are interviewed in addition to the student. With two exceptions, the data collection took place on an annual basis. In general, NEPS aims to study educational trajectories in different contexts as well as the development of competencies over the individual life course. For this, data are collected on competence development, educational processes and educational decisions as well as on educational returns. In addition, NEPS asks a broad range of questions, especially on numerous biographical and socio-demographic characteristics.

The NEPS-SC4-ADIAB can be used to investigate research questions that, for instance, require highly accurate income data over the life course or information about the employing establishments.

Dataset Descriptions, Questionnaires and Frequencies

Detailed information on NEPS-SC4-ADIAB is provided by FDZ-Datenreport 11/2019. Information on the National Educational Panel Study and its Starting Cohort 4 are available on the NEPS website.


Data Access

  • On-site Use and Remote Data Access. Further information on applying for on-site use.

Request for data access for NEPS-SC4-ADIAB

  1. Application
    In order to submit an application for access to the weakly anonymized data in the FDZ, please fill in the "application for onsite-use" and send the Word document to Please note that your application can only be processed as a Word document. The information sheet on the application contains detailed explanations of all required information. The request documents submitted are verified for compliance with the provisions of Section 282 (7) of Book III of the German Social Code by the FDZ. This could take up to one month.
  2. NEPS data use agreement
    Following the approval of the application at the IAB, the conclusion of a NEPS data use agreement with the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories e. V. (LIfBi) is necessary. Please make sure that the applicant, project title and project duration are identical to the details of your approved application of the FDZ at the IAB.
  3. Final contract
    As soon as there is a valid NEPS data use agreement and a final comparison of the details is finished, a contract between your institution and the FDZ of the IAB is issued. This contract will entitle you to use the requested data via on-site use and subsequent remote data access.

Currently, the term of the joint data product NEPS-SC4-ADIAB is limited. The end date for data use agreements may therefore not exceed 31.12.2026.

Test Data

Test data in Stata are available in order to allow the preparation of programs to facilitate remote data access as well as on-site use:


The administrative part of the test data for the NEPS-SC4-ADIAB data is based on the SIAB test data, thus the work tool for the SIAB data contains substantial information about the conception of the NEPS-SC4-ADIAB test data. The ID_t, the identification variable of the NEPS data, was added to the SIAB test data. Only the gender variable matches with the NEPS data, further characteristics were not considered in the assignment. Therefore, the test data may contain strong differences in content between the information from the NEPS survey data and the administrative data. However, there are no deviations from the original data with regard to the structure of the data.

In addition to the data file with the administrative data, a linkage file is provided which contains information on the matching success. The data preparation considers the distributions of the original variables; the assignment of the match type is random.

There is NO explicit test data for the survey data. If there is a data use agreement with the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories for the NEPS data, the download data can be merged with the administrative test data. This is not possible without access to the NEPS data.

Other Working Tools

Further working tools as a list of BHP variables and papers on working with the FDZ data can be found here.

Detailed information on NEPS data can be found on the NEPS website, including the Data Manual, the Release Notes, Survey Instruments and Codebooks, the Field Reports, as well as documents on samples, weights and a merging-matrix. In addition, the NEPSplorer and the NEPS-Forum support the work with the data.


Researchers working with the NEPS-SC4-ADIAB are obligated to acknowledge the data base and its documentation within their publications, including the DOI, by using the following reference:


NEPS-Netzwerk (LIfBi); Bachbauer, Nadine; Zimmermann, Florian; Graf, Tobias; Grießemer, Stephan; Kaimer, Steffen; Köhler, Markus; Lehnert, Claudia; Oertel, Martina; Seysen, Christian (2019): "National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), Starting Cohort 4 (SC4) survey data linked to administrative data of the IAB (NEPS-SC4-ADIAB) – Version 7517 v1". Research Data Centre of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). DOI: 10.5164/
The data access was provided via on-site use at the Research Data Centre (FDZ) of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and subsequently remote data access.

Data documentation:
  • Bachbauer, Nadine; Zimmermann, Florian (2019): NEPS-SC4-Erhebungsdaten verknüpft mit administrativen Daten des IAB (NEPS-SC4-ADIAB 7517). FDZ-Datenreport, 11/2019 (de), Nürnberg. DOI: 10.5164/
  • Bachbauer, Nadine; Zimmermann, Florian (2019): NEPS-SC4 survey data linked to administrative data of the IAB (NEPS-SC4-ADIAB 7517). FDZ-Datenreport, 11/2019 (en), Nuremberg. DOI: 10.5164/IAB.FDZD.1911.en.v1

According to the FDZ Data Usage Agreement, any type of publication resulting from work with FDZ data must be reported to the FDZ by e-mail to at the latest one month after publication. The notification must include an electronic version of the printed version or, after publication, a reprint or a copy of the publication free of charge.

Data Versions

>> Further information on other versions of the NEPS-ADIAB dataset.



Error correction

An error has been detected in the labels for the variable 'estatvor' (employment status prior to job search). Please read the following info sheet to learn more and find guidelines to correct the error.