Mannheim Corona Study

The corona pandemic and the measures taken by the government are affecting the lives of everyone in Germany. The methodology of the German Internet Panel provides us with a unique opportunity. The GIP methodology allows us to study the effects of the pandemic, using daily data gathered from a high-quality sample of the general population.

The interviewed panel members have regularly participated in our study for at least 18 months; some participants have been part of the GIP for 8 years already. This allows the Mannheim Corona Study to compare life in Germany before and since the outbreak.

For these reasons, we believe it to be our duty to contribute to a better understanding of the impact of this crisis on society. On a daily basis, we aim to inform further research, the public as well as decision-makers in politics and business.

On Friday, 20 March, we started with the first survey of the Mannheim Corona Study at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 884 “Political Economy of Reforms”. Each week about 3,500 persons participate in the study, about 500 each day. Our study investigates social/economic aspects (e.g. childcare, work situation and disposable income) as well as the impact of political measures on social interactions, feelings of fear, and public support of the measures taken to contain the pandemic.

On this website you can access the daily updated results of the Mannheim Corona Study.

Daily report (4 June): 76 days

Number of personal contacts further increasing: 45% of the population meets with friends or relatives several times a week.

Results for the past 76 days since 20 March.

view report
table of results

Focus Report: Social Distancing

How many people actually follow social distancing guidelines? Who are these people?
Period covered: 2 March - 23 April

view report (in German)

Focus Report: Democratic Control in the Corona Crisis

What does Germany think about the upgrading of federal authority?
Attitudes depend on subjective feelings of threat by the virus.
Period covered: 20 March - 20 April.  

view report (in German)

Focus Report: Anxiety in Germany

At the beginning of the study, the proportion of those with moderate or very high levels of anxiety was at 18% of the population. Four weeks later it was at about 8%.

Period covered: 20 March - 16 April

view report (in German)

Focus Report: Employment in Germany

Detailed analyses of working from home, state-subsidised reduced working hours and job loss in times of corona.
Period covered: 20 March - 15 April

view report (in German)

Focus Report: Employment and Childcare

Who takes care of the children when schools, nurseries and daycare facilities are closed? And what are the effects of the pandemic on people's employement situations?
Period covered: 20 March - 2 April
view report (in German)

Methodology of the Mannheim Corona Study

The Mannheim Corona Study is based on the methodology and infrastructure of the German Internet Panel (GIP). Like the GIP, the Mannheim Corona study is led by Prof. Dr. Blom and conducted by the GIP team. The questionnaires are developed together with the researchers at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 884 “Political Economy of Reforms”.

Sample
The sample of the Mannheim Corona study was divided into eight random sub-samples. The sub-samples 1-7 were assigned to a specific day of the week, while the eighth sub-sample serves as control group and it is not surveyed for the Corona Study.

Daily Surveys
On each day of the week one of the sub-samples receives an email invitation to the day’s survey. Contacted panel members have 48 hours to participate. However, they are encouraged to take part on the day of the week that they were assigned to, i.e. within the first 24 hours.

Results for each day are analyzed together, i.e. persons who responded directly on the first day (e.g. Monday) are included in the analysis of that specific day (Monday). Answers of respondents, who participated on the day after (Tuesday), are analyzed together with the answers on that day of the next sub-sample. In this way, we minimize biases, because every daily analysis includes both early as well as late respondents.

Within one week, the questionnaire remains exactly the same for all participants. Across weeks, we also aim to keep the questionnaires constant to allow for a daily continuation of our time series for a long time. However, to conduct in-depth analyses of selected topics and to react to unforeseen events, the questionnaire is evaluated and updated every week.

Study Contents
The Mannheim Corona Study conducts research on the following topics:

  • Changes to the job (e.g. home office, leave of absence, job loss) due to the Corona crisis
  • Financial hardship induced by the corona crisis
  • The childcare situation of children and adolescents under the age of 16 before and during the corona crisis
  • Satisfaction with the work of selected politicians
  • Attitudes towards democratic processes during the corona crisis
  • Frequency of social interactions
  • Attitudes towards the economic costs and benefits for society of measures taken to contain the pandemic
  • The extent to which individuals are personally affected by the corona virus and their subjective health risks
  • Feelings of fear and concern

Questionnaires
Please find all questionnaires here (original version in German).

Weighting and Representativeness
No serious academic study in the field of social and economic research will generally claim to be representative of the population. While commercial research institutes tend to emphasize their representativeness, academia usually tries to avoid the use of this term.

Of course, high-quality academic studies go through great lengths to come as close as possible to ideal of representativeness. To this end, researchers use random samples, elaborate fieldwork procedures, and scientific weighting algorithms to represent the general population as closely as possible across a variety of population statistics. The Mannheim Corona Study in the German Internet Panel is also committed to this professional ethos.

For general information on the GIP sampling strategy and its implementation, please visit our methodology page.

The analyses conducted with the Mannheim Corona Study are weighted with a carefully calculated weight. For this purpose, we carried out a two-stage weighting procedure:

In the first stage, we calculated a response propensity weight, which projects the characteristics of the Corona Study participants to the general GIP study. This included two characteristics: employment and occupational sector.

In the second stage, a raking weight was estimated. This raking weight extrapolated the characteristics of Corona Study participants to those of the general population of Germany (based on the German Mikrozensus). The following characteristics informed the raking procedure: age, gender, marital status, highest level of education, household size, and federal state.

A chained equation algorithm imputed missing values in the weighting variables. The final weight was trimmed for values > 4 and values < 1/4.

More Information on the Methodology of the GIP
can be found here.

Funding
The Mannheim Corona Study is conducted within the GIP at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 884 “Political Economy of Reforms” and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). All researchers involved are part of the SFB 884 and mostly funded by the DFG. Neither the Mannheim Corona Study nor the GIP pursue economic or political interests of any kind.

Researchers

The Mannheim Corona Study is supported by the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 884 “Political Economy of Reforms”. The following researchers have particularly contributed to it:

Project Director:
Prof. Dr. Annelies Blom, Director of the GIP and Professor for Data Science

Sociology:
Prof. Dr. Katja Möhring, Project Head at the SFB 884 and Professor for Macrosociology
Dr. Elias Naumann, Postdoc at SFB 884 and JFK Memorial Fellow at Harvard University
Maximiliane Reifenscheid, Doctoral Candidate at SFB 884

Political Science:
Dr. Roni Lehrer, Associate at SFB 884 and Postdoctoral Fellow at MZES
Sebastian Juhl, Doctoral Candidate at SFB 884 and at Mannheim Graduate School

Economics:
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Heinemann, Project Head at SFB 884 and Research Group Head at ZEW
Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Grüner, Project Head at SFB 884 and Professor for Economics, Economic Policy

Study Implementation:
Dr. Ulrich Krieger, Deputy Director of the GIP
Tobias Rettig, Doctoral Candidate at SFB 884
Dr. Alexander Wenz, Postdoc at SFB 884
Marina Fikel, Researcher at SFB 884
Dr. Carina Cornesse, Postdoc at SFB 884
Sabine Friedel, Researcher at SFB 884
Julian Axenfeld, Doctoral Candidate at MZES
and the student assistants of the GIP Marie-Lou Sohnius, Lisa Wellinghoff, Sabrina Seidl, Elena Madiai, Julia Kozilek, Nourhan Elsayed, Lisa Jäckel, and Katja Sonntag

With the Support of the SFB Board:
Prof. Dr. Thomas König, Spokesperson of the SFB 884 and Professor for European Studies
Prof. Dr. Markus Frölich, Deputy Spokesperson of the SFB 884 and Professor for Econometrics
Prof. Dr. Annelies Blom, Director of the GIP und Professor for Data Science
Dr. Christian Bruns, Research Fellow at SFB 884
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Heinemann, Project Head at SFB 884 and Research Manager at ZEW