The Mannheim Enterprise Panel (MUP) is a panel dataset maintained by ZEW since 1992 that covers almost the entire population of enterprises in Germany. The MUP is the most extensive firm-level panel dataset for Germany outside of official statistics. The MUP contains information on more than 8 million firms that are or were economically active in Germany. The MUP is a joint project with Creditreform, the largest German credit agency. Creditreform provides an update of its firm data base for ZEW in six month intervals. ZEW processes the data and brings the data into a panel structure such that for every firm its development can be observed in half-yearly intervals. For the years 1990 to 1999, the MUP includes all newly registered firms from Western Germany and the entire firm population of Eastern Germany. Since 2000, the MUP covers the total firm population in Germany.

The statistical unit of the MUP is the legally independent enterprise. New businesses are registered by Creditreform through three channels: records from official registers such as the Handelsregister, reports on firms in various media, and research by Creditreform in response to requests of clients. Through this procedure, the MUP basically covers all firms with “significant economic activity”. Firms with minor economic activities – such as freelancers, microenterprises, businesses in the agricultural sector, and sideline businesses – are underrepresented in the MUP.

With its representation of the total firm population, the long time span and the large number of firm-level variables, the MUP serves as a comprehensive database that enables all kinds of microeconomic research. In particular, the MUP is employed in entrepreneurship and innovation research, for analysing growth, survival and productivity of firms, but also for studies on competition, labour markets, finance or regional economics.

Besides the various applications for microeconomic analysis, the MUP serves two major purposes at ZEW. Firstly, it is used to display industrial dynamics in Germany by calculated the yearly number of start‐ups, business closures and stock of firms in Germany broken down by sector and region (see the half-yearly publication by Creditreform and ZEW “Junge Unternehmen”). Data on start-up activity can be obtained from ZEW in the form of standardised tabulations. Secondly, ZEW uses the MUP as a sampling frame for several firm surveys, among others the Mannheim Innovation Panel (MIP), which is the German part of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS)), the IAB/ZEW-Start‐up Panel and theBusiness Climate Survey in the Information Sector. Apart from these regular surveys the MUP also served as a sampling pool in many one-off surveys.

The MUP contains among other the following information on companies headquartered in Germany including already closed companies: The complete address, number of employed persons, amount of sales, legal form, five‐digit industry sector code (NACE rev. 2), date of foundation, date of closure, data of insolvency procedures, shareholder structure and information. Balance sheet information is available for a subset of medium sized corporations and company groups who publish this information.

Selected Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

Gottschalk, Sandra and Bettina Müller (2022), A Second Chance for Failed Entrepreneurs: A Good Idea?, Small Business Economics. Download

Holtermann, Linus, Christian Hundt, Jonas Steeger and Johannes Bersch (2020), The utilization of cluster externalities and recessionary shocks, Industrial and Corporate Change dtaa042. Download

Bersch, Johannes, Hans Degryse, Thomas Kick and Ingrid Stein (2020), The Real Effects of Bank Distress: Evidence from Bank Bailouts in Germany , Journal of Corporate Finance 60(C). Download

Höwer, Daniel (2016), The Role of Banks if Firms are Financially Distressed, Journal of Banking and Finance 65, 59-75.

Audretsch, David B., Diana Heger and Tobias Veith (2015), Infrastructure and Entrepreneurship, Small Business Economics 44(2), 219-230.

Niefert, Michaela and Sandra Gottschalk (2014), Gründerinnen auf dem Vormarsch? - Die Entwicklung der Beteiligung von Frauen am Gründungsgeschehen, AStA Wirtschafts - und Sozialstatistisches Archiv 8 (3), 115-145.

Czarnitzki, Dirk and Kornelius Kraft (2007), Are Credit Ratings Valuable Information?, Applied Financial Economics 17(13), 1061-1070.

Almus, Matthias, Dirk Engel and Susanne Prantl (2000), The ZEW Foundation Panels and the Mannheim Enterprise Panel (MUP) of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Schmollers Jahrbuch 120, 301-308.

Monographs, Contributions to Edited Volumes

Almus, Matthias, Dirk Engel and Susanne Prantl (2002), Die Mannheimer Gründungspanels des Zentrums für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH (ZEW), in: Fritsch, M. und R. Grotz 1. Auflage, Physica, Heidelberg, 79-102.

Discussion and Working Papers

Krieger, Bastian, Maikel Pellens, Knut Blind, Sonia Gruber and Torben Schubert (2020), Are Firms Withdrawing From Basic Research? An Analysis of Firm-Level Publication Behaviour in Germany, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 20-083, Mannheim, LLL:citation.label.journal: Scientometrics . Download

Mergele, Lukas, Moritz Hennicke and Moritz Lubczyk (2020), The Big Sell: Privatizing East Germany's Economy, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 20-043, Mannheim. Download

Bersch, Johannes, Sandra Gottschalk, Bettina Müller and Michaela Niefert (2014), The Mannheim Enterprise Panel (MUP) and Firm Statistics for Germany, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 14-104, Mannheim. Download

Almus, Matthias, Dirk Engel and Susanne Prantl (2000), The Mannheim Foundation Panels of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), ZEW Documentation LLL:citation.label.number 00-02, Mannheim. Download

Project duration

01.01.1992 - current

Cooperation partner

Dr. Lutz Bellmann, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Nürnberg, DE
Michael Bretz und Stefan Ditzen, Verband der Vereine Creditreform e.V., Neuss, DE
Prof. Konrad Stahl, Ph.D., Universität Mannheim, Mannheim, DE