Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

IAB Establishment Panel
IAB Betriebspanel

Work and Productivity
Relevance for this Topic
Country Germany
More Topics


Contact information

Victoria Nußbeck
Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
Regensburger Str. 104
D- 90478 Nuremberg
Phone: +49 (0)911-179-3095
Fax: +49 (0)911-179-3736
Email: iab.fbd1(at)

Timeliness, transparency

There is around one year between collection and publication of results for the project group. For the scientific community, the data is prepared at the research data centre and is available around one and a half years after collection (December of the following year).

Type of data


Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Self-administered questionnaire

written postal survey

Access to data

Access is permitted for the use of data in a scientific, non-profit context and for the purpose of employment research only. The IAB Establishment Panel is available in two different versions: the original data of all waves may only be used during research visits or by remote data access. The factually anonymous, complete, synthetic data of wave 2007 are transferred to researchers so they can work on the data in their offices. (

Conditions of access

Signing a data distribution contract is required prior to obtaining the data. Description of data security concept is necessary (only applicable for Scientific Use File). The data set is free of charge.

Dependent on the data access. Access to remote execution needs takes on average two days. An application for a research stay is forwarded to the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs for permission. The whole contract procedure takes about three to four weeks. The times given are based on correctly completed applications.

anonymised microdata


All documents, questionnaires, labels, etc. are available in German and English.


Data collection has been ongoing since 1993 (West Germany) and 1996 (East Germany). Data is collected annually and includes a sample size of 16,000 establishments of all sectors and sizes. The reference date of the sample is June 30th.

1993 (West Germany) / 1996 (East Germany)

federal states, sectors and size

Random sample of registry data

national, NUTS-3-level

establishments of all sectors and sizes with least one employee covered by social security

The number of employees older than 50 years is surveyed in some years (e.g. 2002, 2006). Concerning the question of how far an ageing population is changing employers’ behaviour, the data set includes (for certain years: 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011) variables on individual personnel measures for older workers. These cover partial retirement, special equipment at the workplace, adaptation of performance requirements, further education, mixed-age working groups and health promotion (the latter in 2011 only). These personnel measurements can be analysed on an establishment level with regard to establishment size and sectors, etc. Additionally, the 2002 questionnaire asks employers to assess if certain characteristics such as creativity, flexibility, loyalty or the willingness to learn are more commonly found in older or younger employees. Moreover, this wave allows analysis of circumstances in which employees older than 50 years would be employed (part-time, fixed-term, financial support, etc.). Furthermore, the importance of keeping older skilled employees longer in the establishment was surveyed in 2011.

• Bechmann, Sebastian, Dahms, Vera, Tschersich, Nikolai, Frei, Marek, Leber, Ute, & Schwengler, Barbara. (2012). Fachkräfte und unbesetzte Stellen in einer alternden Gesellschaft * Problemlagen und betriebliche Reaktionen. IAB-Forschungsbericht Nr. 13/2012. Nürnberg: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung:Available via:
(especially p. 41-50). • Bellmann, Lutz, & Leber, Ute. Betriebliche Weiterbildung Älterer als Strategie zur Sicherung des Fachkräftebedarfs. In: Sozialer Fortschritt, Bd. 60, (8) (2010): 168-175. • Bellmann, Lutz, & Janik, Florian. Betriebe und Frühverrentung: Angebote, die man nicht ablehnt. In: Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung, Jg. 42 (4) (2010): 311-324. Available via:
. • Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (Hrsg.). Fortschrittsreport „Altersgerechte Arbeitswelt" Berlin, 2013: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales. Available via:
. • Burgert, Derik. Mobilität auf dem Arbeitsmarkt für Ältere - die Rolle der Betriebe. Schriften des Forschungsinstituts Freie Berufe Nr. 19 (2012). Baden-Baden: Nomos. • Koch, Andreas. Weiterbildung älterer Beschäftigter * IAB-Betriebspanel und Adult Education Survey im Vergleich. IAW-Kurzbericht Nr. 2012/07. Tübingen. Available via:



Matched with the IAB employee and benefit recipient history, the Establishment Panel is available in several versions of the Linked Employer/Employee Data (LIAB), which allows for analysis of employment histories, occupational mobility, etc.

Data quality

The IAB establishment panel contains high data quality achieved by means of sophisticated data monitoring and error correction.

The design of the questionnaire was changed slightly in 2007. The basic programme consisting of the subject blocks Employment Development, Business Policy and Development, Vocational Training, Personnel Structure and Personnel Movements, Investments, Wages & Salaries and Adherence to Collective Agreements were supplemented by basic indicators from the previously specific subject blocks Further Training, Innovation and Working Times. Up until then, these blocks were only included at certain intervals, but are surveyed annually beginning in 2008. However, in order to implement this concept, certain questions were deleted from the basic programme (
: p.11f).

The consistency of terminology is ensured. Changes in industry and area codes cannot be influenced by project group.


The IAB Establishment Panel is the central basis for the analysis of labour demand in Germany. However, questions on older employees are not included in all waves, but starting in 2002, they are assessed on a regular basis (2002, 2006, 2008 and 2011). Therefore, the data set can answer several questions on how far ageing populations are changing employers’ behaviour since it provides information on the number of older employees and the workplace’s individual personnel measures for older workers. Moreover, the wave in 2002 provides information on how employers assess certain characteristics of older employees, such as creativity or flexibility. However, the data set only allows analysis on a workplace level. In order to obtain information on employee histories and occupational mobility, the Establishment Panel is available in versions of the Linked Employer/Employee Data (LIAB). It also should be said that the Establishment panel is based on a complex study design, which can present challenges for new users of the data set.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
  • (see Partners)