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In 2015, the German Federal Antidiscrimination Agency (FADA) successfully introduced two questions on experienced discrimination in the Innovation Sample of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). With this initiative, FADA aims to tackle the lack of regularly available and representative data on how widespread experiences of discrimination are in Germany. The aim of the practice is to regularly include a question module on discrimination in the SOEP-Core (e.g. every four years).
The SOEP is a longitudinal household panel survey that has been conducted annually since 1984. The main sample, the SOEP-Core, is carried out by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). It comprises approximately 30,000 people from almost 11,000 households.
The Innovation Sample is much smaller compared to the SOEP-Core sample but shares some of its important design elements. It has been developed to include, and test new and innovative questions. The newly introduced questions ask:
The questions were designed to show discrimination on all grounds of the General Equal Treatment Act (ethnic origin/racist discrimination, gender, age, religion or belief, disability, and sexual identity), without making the SOEP Innovation Sample, an already comprehensive multi-topic survey, too long.
The FADA developed the wording of the questions and categories. It adapted them slightly in collaboration with the German Institute for Economic Research. It then submitted a proposal for including of the questions.
The data from these questions allow for an investigation on how discrimination is related to demographic and socioeconomic variables as well as indicators such as health or life satisfaction. Subsequent survey waves would also enable to test if changes in the respondents’ lives affect self-reporting of discrimination.
When designing the questions, FADA could build on its experiences with the 2015 study on experiences of discrimination in Germany. Furthermore, the proposal was supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to People with Disabilities and several researchers active in the field of discrimination research.
Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency / Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes
Email: rainer (dot) stocker (at) ads (dot) bund (dot) de