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Data Set Description

The Refugees in Germany study is a research project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs under the title of “Supporting evaluation of labor market integration measures for refugees.”

Aim and Conceptualization

The study wanted to assess which labor market integration measures as well as the job-related language support may helped or hinder the integration of refugees into the job market who had fled to Germany since 2015.

The “Refugees in Germany” is conceptually based on the “IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees”, which has been running since 2016, but in contrast to this is not a household survey, but an individual survey with computer-assisted personal interviews (so-called CAPI survey). It is based on a gross sample of people in the context of refugee migration who had fled to Germany since 2015, and had or could have started between August 1, 2017 and September 11, 2018, one of five different types of labor market integration measures. The random-based selection of participants was obtained from the register held by the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).


A central component of this project was a survey of refugees, conducted in two rounds of interviews. All interviews were conducted face-to-face in the form of CAPI. Fieldwork for the first wave of the survey lasted from July until July 2019, and generated 9,523 net cases at the end of wave 1.

At the end of the first interview, all respondents were asked if they would give an interview again on this topic after several months. Participants were also asked if they would consent to the linking of data held at the register of the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) with the interview responses for the purposes of scientific analysis.

The fieldwork for wave 2 began in mid-January 2020. Due to the emerging pandemic (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19), fieldwork was temporarily suspended as part of the first nationwide "lockdown" at the end of March 2020. Fieldwork was resumed in mid-September 2020 until mid-December 2020. In the end, 4,526 cases could be realized in the second survey wave.

In addition, the design of the study was very well tailored to the target group of refugees due to the special interviewer staff with a high proportion of Arabic-speaking interviewers, a multilingual questionnaire and accompanying documents as well as other measures such as an interpreter hotline and a cash incentive of €15.

The sample basically consists of two main groups: a treatment group and a control group. The treatment group (participants) is divided into five sub-populations, which correspond to the five types of measures to be evaluated. The control group includes people who theoretically have a sufficient probability of participating in the measure, but who actually did not participate at the time the address was selected. It is divided into two subpopulations and contains either people who are assigned to exactly one of the types of measure or who are eligible for two of the types of measure.


Date Created: 2022-05-10

Restricted Access

  1. Bonin, Holger (IZA)
  2. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle (IZA)
  3. Rinne, Ulf (IZA)
  4. Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Germany)
  1. Institute of Labor Εconomics (IZA)
  2. Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
  3. German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
  4. Institute for Work Skills and Training (IAQ)
  5. Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW)
  6. Leibniz Institute for Economic Research (RWI)

Longitudinal survey data


Face-to-face interview, Personal Interview


Access to the data is provided to non-for-profit research, replication and teaching purposes. The data is available from the Research Data Center of IZA (IDSC).
Please contact IDSC for any access requests.

Geographic Coverage: