German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Research Foci in the Network:
Acquisition of Competencies and Professionalization, Knowledge and Participation, Education and Equity, Returns to Education, Educational Monitoring and Information
Research Disciplines:
Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Survey research
Contact at the Institute:
Prof. Dr. C. Katharina Spieß (kspiess[at]


The DIW Berlin is one of the leading economic research institutions in Germany. Its core mandates are applied economic research and economic policy as well as provision of research infrastructure. DIW Berlin stands out for the wide spectrum of its research areas and its commitment to interdisciplinarity. It also has first-rate access to empirical data, as exemplified by its Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) – one of the world’s best data sources on the socio-economic situation in Germany. DIW Berlin has nine research departments. Thematically, the scientific work of the institute is divided into four research clusters: (1) Macroeconomic Analysis and the World Economy, (2) Sustainability, (3) Industrial Economics, (4) Public Finances and Living Conditions. Questions related to Education are investigated in the latter and follow a microeconomic perspective. Empirical educational research constitutes the key aspect of the department “Education and Family” but is also analyzed by two further departments belonging to this research cluster. Among them is the research infrastructure SOEP. The research focuses on lifelong acquisition of skills, evaluating the institutional framework of the German educational system, as well as associated issues of equal opportunities. The Education and Family department focuses, inter alia, on early childhood, which forms one of the key phases for education over the life cycle. Given this focus, research questions stemming from the economics of educations are strongly related to family research. Higher Education and the transition from school to tertiary education constitute another focal point of the department.

 Important work and services:

  • With the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) the DIW provides a large representative longitudinal dataset, which can be used as the basis for studies in a wide range of scientific disciplines. The SOEP started in 1984 and by now comprises approximately 23,000 persons in more than 12,000 households. Some of the many topics include household composition, occupational biographies, employment, earnings, education, health and satisfaction indicators.

Contact: Michaela Engelmann, Email: soepmail[at], Phone: +49 30 / 897 89 - 292

  • The DIW coordinates the Berlin Interdisciplinary Education Research Network (BIEN), which aims at giving young scholars in Berlin and surroundings the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas beyond their home institute and discipline. For more information see: 

Contact: Dr. Johanna Storck, Email: jstorck[at], Phone: +49 30 / 897 89 - 516 



Promotion of Young Researchers