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8th NEPS conference on the research potential of linked data sets


The conference year 2023 at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) ended in early November with the 8th International NEPS Conference. The focus was on working with data sets from the linking of survey and test data with administrative data. For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, the conference was held as an in-person event at LIfBi again, with an additional live webcast. Embedded in the two-day conference were the keynote lecture by Professor Bernd Fitzenberger, Ph.D., and the announcement of this year's NEPS Publication Award.


The 8th International NEPS Conference was dedicated to an increasingly important key topic, that is, the use and further development of linked data sets in the field of empirical educational research. The joint NEPS-ADIAB data service of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB, Nuremberg) was the focus of interest. In this service, the survey data of five NEPS starting cohorts are linked at individual level with administrative information from the Federal Employment Agency (BA) for research purposes.

In 15 lectures, 8 poster presentations, one open space discussion and a keynote lecture, various aspects of linking data from different sources were highlighted and work based on this was presented and discussed. The exchange enabled participants to broaden their perspectives and experiences as well as to gain new insights.

Link to the NEPS-ADIAB data service

Link to the conference program

Keynote by Professor Bernd Fitzenberger
Prof. Bernd Fitzenberger, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) Nuremberg and holder of the Chair of Quantitative Labor Economics at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, was invited to give the LIfBi Lecture and keynote speech at the conference. In his presentation, he provided valuable insights on the latest developments and challenges in the field of linking survey and register data and emphasized their enormous potential for labour market and educational research. Fitzenberger explained why NEPS-ADIAB is an outstanding example of a linked data set and outlined the possibilities offered by combining the classic longitudinal data of the National Educational Panel Study with the administrative employment biographies. At the same time, he pointed out the considerable legal specifications and requirements that must be met when linking only weakly anonymized data sets in this way. Fitzenberger came to the conclusion that NEPS-ADIAB can serve as a model for other research areas.

Link to the abstract of the presentation

NEPS publication prize goes to international group of authors
A special collaboration was also honored with this year's NEPS Publication Award. The 1,000 euro award for outstanding publications based on NEPS data was given to an international group of researchers from Bamberg (DE), Bristol (UK) and Columbia (USA), consisting of Anna Volodina, Sabine Weinert, Elizabeth Washbrook, Jane Waldfogel, Sarah Jiyoon Kwon, Yi Wang and Valentina Perinetti Casoni. The researchers used harmonized data from large-scale longitudinal studies in the USA, the UK and Germany to investigate the influence of family, child and care-related factors on early childhood skills development. The award-winning study "sheds particular light on the value of international comparative analyses and the potential of NEPS data for such analyses," says Prof. Dr. Christian Aßmann from LIfBi.

Link to the news

Link to the publication

The head of the Research Data Center (FDZ-LIfBi) drew a thoroughly positive conclusion for the NEPS conference: "The diversity of the research contributions presented and the keynote made it clear what immense potential lies in the use of linked data from different sources for educational research and evidence-based policy advice," explained Dr. Daniel Fuß, who organized the conference together with Nadine Bachbauer and Clara Wolf from the FDZ-LIfBi team with the support of the Research Data Centre at the IAB.