ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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QUBE-project: simulating effects of political and social measures on Germany's educational system and labour market

Robert Helmrich, Tobias Maier

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 2 - Law Building, Room 026
Date: 2012-07-11 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-12-17


While the effects of political decisions and social measures on national economies and societies can be described separately they are seldom depicted simultaneously due to their complexity. The QUBE-project of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) and the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) sets out to simulate these complex interrelations and their effects on the national educational system and the labour market in close temporal proximity (
The simulations are based on a complete breakdown of the population according to qualifications and employment plus a macro-economic simulation of the German economy including its national and international advance payment interdependencies. With this the impact of political measures on the supply of labour and their economic effects can be shown in detail. Taken into account are demographic changes on the output from the educational system, gender-, age-, qualification- and job-specific labour force participation rates, necessary substitutions and occupational integration of immigrants, and even actual and desired individual working hours.
Individual decisions of labour market participants for qualification and education are included with “decision matrices” as well as individual occupational flexibility between learned and held/performed jobs with “job-flexibility matrices”. These matrices are empirically based on data from the national labour-force survey as well as official process-generated data from the German employment agency. These include information on the desired working hours as a further factor.
Several immediate, short-term and long-term effects on the national educational system and the labour market are included: measures on the efficiency and effectiveness of the educational system on different qualification levels; political and labour market programmes; measures on research and development, climate protection, health prevention, immigration, retirement provision schemes; and other global effects. Thus the simulations provide a broad and solid basis for political decision making.
The empirical basis is aligned to account for the whole population and the complete economy. Therefore we use process-generated official statistical data and continually complement them with specific results of the latest research.