Working with SOEPhelpΒΆ


The following tool is available starting with Version v34 (Wave bh) and Stata Version 12.

The SOEP data contain a wide array of useful additional information. SOEPhelp is a stata.ado that displays documentation on the dataset at hand. It displays information such as variable histories directly in your Stata window.


Open Stata and enter the following command:

net install soephelp, replace from(

The following commands are provided by .ado:

For a general introduction to SOEPhelp, type in the command help soephelp. Here you will find a detailed explanation of the Stata.ado and the different ways to use it. The .ado is available in German and English.


With the command soephelp, using wave specific datasets (subdirectory raw), you receive a basic description of the data set as well as a list of samples contained in it, including the instruments corresponding to the sample. By clicking on the provided links, you will get to the respective questionnaires or to the data set on paneldata.


Using soephelp in longitudinal data sets, you also receive a basic description as well as a list of wave specific data sets that are used to generate the longitudinal version.


If you enter the command soephelp <variable> in a wave specific data set, you will get detailed information about the addressed variable. The question asked in the questionnaire is displayed and in which samples and instruments the question was asked. Additionally, the command offers the corresponding long variable as well as the link of the displayed variable to our documentation portal


Conversely, with long data, you receive the wave specific input variables and datasets used to generate the long-variable.


SOEPhelp is directly linked to the SOEPcompanion.