Unemployment information in individual level register data depends on institutional settings, administrative procedures and which registers are merged. In this paper we suggest different implementation strategies for common international and German legal unemployment definitions for the Sample of the Integrated Employment Biographies (IEBS). The IEBS belongs to a new generation of German merged register data that is more comprehensive than previous data sets. Our descriptive figures show large differences in the number of spells and the unemployment duration across implementations. This suggests that empirical results of labour market research are likely to depend on the underlying legal definition of unemployment and its implementation in this data.

Kruppe, Thomas, Eva Müller, Laura Wichert and Ralf Wilke (2007), On the Definition of Unemployment and its Implementation in Register Data – The Case of Germany, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 07-041, Mannheim. Download


Kruppe, Thomas
Müller, Eva
Wichert, Laura
Wilke, Ralf


unemployment duration, merged administrative individual data, Germany, Stata