Hans-Peter BlossfeldThorsten SchneiderJörg Doll

Methodological Advantages of Panel Studies

Designing the New National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) in Germany

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART102638

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Abstract

There is a huge demand for high-quality data as education is a key factor in modern societies for individual life courses and chances as well as for economic growth. The need for panel data in case of observational studies is explained by us because describing and testing theories on causes and consequences of educational careers is highly limited using cross sectional data. Consequently a National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) has been established in Germany. Besides the methodological advantages of panel data such an instrument needs a strong theoretical base. We give a short overview on the major topics and characteristics of German longitudinal studies as well as some notes on the situation in other industrialized countries. Considering different strategies used in Germany and elsewhere and the need to provide fast and up-to-date information on educational processes, we opt for a multi-cohort-sequence design. This means, that the NEPS starts with six different cohorts at important stages in the educational career or life course within a small time range and that samples will be refreshed later on. To get detailed information on the learning environments and to capture the influences of parallel processes on competence development and educational choices we also survey the parents and the teachers of the minor persons.

Keywords
educational research, causal analysis, designing panel studies, NEPS