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Access to microdata for empirical research in social security and employment

  • Access Secure Data

CCSS Research Support collaborates with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of the German Federal Employment Agency enabling approved researchers to securely access confidential administrative microdata on labor markets. These resources are available to any researcher approved by IAB, no affiliation with Cornell is required.

Access is available in person at the IAB Research Data Center at CCSS-RS. See for details on data access.

The data files contain detailed information on employment, unemployment benefit receipts, participation in labor market programs and registered job search, and a large number of socio-economic characteristics.

The scheme image/description on this page depicts the different data sources and how they are combined in the available data products.

The most restrictive data may be accessed in person at the IAB Research Data Center located in the CCSS-RS offices at 391 Pine Tree Road. Access to confidential administrative microdata is provided through a thin client connection directly to the IAB servers in Germany. In addition to Cornell University, other locations in the U.S. where this access is possible include: University of Michigan; University of California at Berkeley; Harvard University; University of California Los Angeles; and Princeton University.

Access to the IAB’s less restrictive confidential microdata, referred to as Scientific Use Files (SUF), are available. These files are similar in origin to the highly restrictive files but have been factually anonymized enabling wider access. IAB will check for each specific case if and under what conditions a SUF file can be stored and accessed from a personal workplace. For this, potential users will have to complete a data security concept, as described here:

IAB FDZ logo

To learn more about the FDZ and IAB data in detail please visit the Research Data Centre (FDZ) of the Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research.

All data products available are provided free of charge. For instructions on how to apply for the data, visit the Data Access: On-site Use page. For help accessing these data contact IAB via electronic mail ( or call IAB in Nuremberg, Germany (+49-911-179-1752).

The IAB-FDZ data access site at Cornell University is located in the CCSS-RS offices at 391 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.  Contact Info: email:; telephone: 607-255-4801.

  • scheme

    ​​different data sources and how they are combined in the available data products - full description in other tab

  • description

    The following is a text description of the scheme image (see other tab), which depicts different data sources and how they are combined in the available data products.

    Overview of Available Data
    The Research Data Centre (FDZ) provides data on individuals, households and establishments, as well as data that comprise both establishment and personal information. The FDZ data originate from three different sources. From the notification process of the social security system and the internal procedures of the Federal Employment Agency process-generated data are obtained. Furthermore, the IAB acquires data by conducting its own surveys.

    Process Generated Data
    Social security notifications are filed in the IAB and edited in the form of a history dataset known as the Employment History. The Establishment History Panel (BHP) is generated by aggregation of the Employment History to the establishment level. The IAB also prepares the process-generated data stemming from the internal procedures of the Federal Employment Agency. These are linkable with the Employment History to form what is termed the Integrated Employment Biographies. The Integrated Employment Biographies are a central component of several FDZ datasets:

    The FDZ currently offers datasets on surveys of establishments, households and individuals. Generally these are obtained from surveys conducted by the IAB, but also partly in the context of third party funded FDZ projects.

    Linked Data
    By combining process-generated data with survey data, linked datasets are generated. Thus, establishment data, personal or household data from different sources are combined.

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