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User Statistics

Users of SAVE

Since its beginnings in 2001 the SAVE Survey is characterized by a combination of “hard facts” about savings and assets of German households with “soft facts” like socio-psychological indicators. The growing interest of science in this kind of approach is reflected by the continuous increase in user numbers. Overall, more than 90 projects based on SAVE-data could be registered since 2013.

For the most part, SAVE data was used for research projects by graduate students. 43% of all users employed the data for their PhD theses, while 23% were working on post-doctoral research projects. Other fields of use were teaching purposes and student theses (jointly 19%), as well as the usage for expert reports and projects on behalf of ministries (15%).

Registrations not only came from Germany: Many scholars from other European countries as well as from the United States relied on SAVE data for their projects. The majority of registered users were economists, followed by scholars of social and political sciences.

In 2012, a survey about the satisfaction of users was conducted to improve the quality and user-friendliness of SAVE data. Apart from questions about satisfaction with data, data access and data documentation, the participants’ research background and motivations were inquired. The outcomes are presented in the following.

Results of the user survey

A well-documented and accessible data infrastructure lays the foundation for every empirical research project. Unfortunately, there is only a moderate satisfaction among SAVE users with the data basis in their respective research field. However, the satisfaction with the data basis in Germany is significantly higher than the satisfaction with data bases in general. SAVE strives to fill the gaps in the accessibility of data about the situation of income and wealth in German households, savings behavior, financial knowledge and more.

Due to the longitudinal structure of SAVE data, users can examine effects over time. 68% of respondents used the data’s panel structure, while the remaining 32% engaged in cross-sectional analyses.

Satisfaction with SAVE

Overall, the investigation of satisfaction among SAVE users yielded positive results. 78% of interviewees rated the data as satisfactory, 22% rated them as moderately satisfactory. Not a single user responded to be unsatisfied.

Data access was rated as being satisfactory by 91%, and was described as being very easy and unproblematic. Data documentation could still be improved, with 32% of respondents being only moderately satisfied. But again, no single respondent claimed to be unsatisfied.

We would like to thank all respondents for their participation. We welcomed the critical aspects and we are eager to implement all ideas and suggestions!

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Discussion Paper

Savings in times of demographic change: Lessons from the German experience

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