Improvement of Access to Data Sets from the Official Statistics
15 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 2009
The four publicly funded research data centres (FDZ) in Germany - the Research Data Centre of the Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research, the Research Data Centre of the German Pension Insurance (FDZ-RV), the Research Data Centre of the Statistical Offices of the Länder and the Research Data Centre of the German Federal Statistical Office - have made a significant improvement to the data and services available to researchers over the past few years. Founded on a recommendation by the German Commission on Improving the Informational Infrastructure between Science and Statistics (KVI) and funded in the project phases by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the centres have developed in a form that was not initially anticipated. Their services are widely used, empirical findings lead to refereed publications and the state of research in rendering microdata anonymous has made great leaps. Many policy decisions are now planned and evaluated on the basis of data originating from the data research centres. Germany has gone from the bottom of Europe’s league with regard to the use of individual data produced by empirical research with public funding, to an innovative provider of new ideas, such as on access to individual data for teaching purposes and linked employer-employee datasets.
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