German Administrative Data Project

The Research Data Center (FDZ) of the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) in the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) facilitates access to micro data on the labor market for non-commercial empirical research. Originally located at the Institute of Employment Research in Nuremberg, Germany, an additional access point for FDZ data is in the process of being opened at the Department of Economics at Harvard. This access point opened on April 15th, 2014.

The FDZ data on individuals, households and establishments come from several sources. Administrative data are obtained from the notification process of the social security system and the internal procedures of the Federal Employment Agency. They contain daily information on the employment and unemployment history of individuals, occupations, education, wages, benefits, job search activities and participation in training programs covered by the German social security system. These records are available for every employee participating in the German social security system since 1975 and cover about 80% of the German population. The IAB also conducts its own surveys of households and firms. The data include establishment-level survey and administrative data on German employers and linked-employer-employee data. The administrative and survey data can be analyzed separately, but all IAB surveys can also be linked to the respondent administrative records. Other linked data, which will be offered in the near future include combinations of administrative records with commercial business data (Bureau van Djik) or patent data. Geo-coded information are available, too.

For more information, please see a presentation prepared by Stefan Bender, former Director of the FDZ. or review the most recent update of the FDZ newsletter.

If you are interested in using this data, the first step is to apply to the FDZ for access. Once your project has been approved by the FDZ and an Institutional Review Board, please review the Economics Department access-and-use agreements. Versions of this document are available for Harvard affiliated researchers and for researchers with no Harvard affiliation. These documents summarize the final steps for gaining access to the data center.

Users who have already completed this process and been approved may use the data-center calendar to schedule their access appointments.

If you have questions about the process for gaining approval and access, please e-mail

The day-to-day administrators of the data center are Paul Millett and Clare Dingwell.