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Winter term 2023/2024

30218 Teaching reserach project: Working with the German Socio-Economic Panel – Analyzing Research Questions with Panel Data

Tuesday 16:00–20:00 Uhr I Fabian Kalleitner

The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) is a representative panel study for the German population, collecting data on a broad variety of topics of everyday life, including general wellbeing, household composition, educational aspirations and educational status, income and occupational biographies, leisure time activities, housing, health, political orientation and more. With its long running panel structure, the breadth of topics and the representative nature of the data, the SOEP has become a central resource for quantitative research in the social sciences. This seminar offers a well-grounded and practically oriented introduction to the data of the Socio-economic panel study. Participants will be introduced to the content of the study, its data-structure, sample selection and weighting strategy and they will be provided with an overview over the study documentation so that students start working on their own research projects using this dataset. The seminar has four overarching goals: First, it will introduce students to panel data in general and to the SOEP in particular. Second, it will teach students commonly used measurement strategies of popular social scientific concepts and sociodemographic characteristics like social class, education, or occupation. Third, it will make students familiar with basic analytical research designs that commonly rely on panel data and how to use these approaches for their own research goals using the statistical programming language R. Fourth, it will provide students with a basic understanding and the necessary tools to move from the literature, over the research question, to developing a research design, and starting a research analysis. The course will heavily rely on a flipped classroom approach where students do exercises, readings, and work on their empirical research project at home, while we will do trouble shooting and discuss common problems in class. In parts of the classes the contents taught are practiced directly on the computer. These practical parts require familiarity with basic methods of empirical analysis and programming skills in R. The lecturer will provide a basic introduction and learning material to both but students have to expect that they have to catch up on these topics quickly so that they can work on their own research projects. After successfully completing the course, you will be familiar with the SOEP and know how to work with panel data to conduct your own research. You will be able to use common analytical research designs that rely on panel data and be able to use these methods for your research. You know how to develop sociological research questions and how to present and defend your ideas in front of class. To achieve these goals, students will read compulsory literature, do R exercises, and answer related questions ahead of each lesson. In addition, they will hand in a first research question, develop a research proposal, and write a first draft of their research report in the style of an empirical scientific paper by the end of the semester. Students will present a this first draft in class at the end of the semester.