International Data Service Center


As part of a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research IZA has developed an International Data Service Center - IDSC, which facilitates the search for datasets that are relevant for labor economists. The IDSC "meta-database" contains datasets that have been identified by IZA Research Fellows as most important for labor economics. All these datasets are available with technical, legal and content information. They are easily searchable in a standardized way, e.g. for questions and variables. Another advantage of the IDSC is that documentation previously only available in German has been translated to English.

In addition to this publicly accessible service, authorized researchers can now analyze several datasets by means of controlled remote data processing. The jobs are submitted online or via e-mail to IDSC, which performs the analyses in a timely fashion and sends the results to the submitter.



For the last few years, there has been a lively discussion in Germany about granting the scientific community access to more detailed microdata. The debate resulted in the establishment of the Kommission zur Verbesserung der informationellen Infrastruktur zwischen Wissenschaft und Statistik (KVI - Commission to improve the informational infrastructure by co-operation of the scientific community and official statistics).

Commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the KVI recommended a number of improvements of the informational data infrastructure in Germany. The recommendations range from involving data users in the development of collection and processing data to prospects of educational training in statistics and granting the scientific community access to the microdata of official statistics and public data producers.

Based on the KVI proposals, the following research data centers and data service centers have been established:

Research data centers

Federal Statistical Office Research Data Center

Research Data Center of the Statutory Pension Insurance

Federal Employment Agency Research Data Center

Data service centers

German Microdata Lab (GML) at German Social Science Infrastructure Services (GESIS-ZUMA)