Dataset: Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1998


Political attitudes and political participation in reunified Germany.
Cross-section surveys at two different survey times in West and East Germany.

judgement on current general economic situation as well as economic situation in the previous year;
expected economic situation;
knowledge about the importance of first vote and second vote;
satisfaction with democracy;
interest in politics;
certainty of one's own intent to participate in the election and one's own voting decision (pre);
type of voting as absentee ballot or polling place (post);
same voting decision after knowledge about results of the election (post);
party preference (Sunday question, first vote and second vote, post);
voting decision for candidate (pre) and recall (post), voting decision for party (pre) and recall (post);
respondent has answered the question regarding voting intent and voting decision;
time of voting decision (post);
most important reasons for one's own voting decision (post);
certainty of one's own voting decision (pre);
reasons for voting intent and not voting;
eligible to vote 1998;
estimated certainty of selected smaller parties taking seats in Federal Parliament (FDP, Bündnis90/Die Grünen, PDS, Republikaner, and DVU (pre);
expected election winner in the Federal Parliament election (CDU/CSU or SPD, pre);
evaluation of democracy as a conception of a state;
personal financial situation;
personal financial situation has improved and expectations for the next year;
most important reasons for dissatisfaction with parties;
coalition preference;
satisfaction with result of Federal Parliament election (post);
intensity of following the election campaign (post);
responsivity: judgement on party politicians and their job as well as their relation with citizens (scale);
most important problems of the country;
issue ability of parties; external efficacy: possibilities of citizens to influence parties;
internal efficacy: ability of citizens to influence parties and governments (scale);
electoral duty;
attitude towards democracy;
assessment of the position of the most important parties on the topics nuclear energy, immigration, and European unification;
personal opinion on these topics and importance of problem solution;
importance of providing jobs, support of new technologies the promotion of equal opportunities for women (issue importance);
state responsibility for these issues;
satisfaction with task fulfillment of the government on these issues;
place of residence in July 1989;
retrospective judgement on personal standard of living, fairness of income distribution, social security, company of people, and crime protection in the FRG 1989 and in the GDR compared to today;
knowledge of the number of federal states;
sympathy scale for the parties CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP, Bündnis90/Die Grünen, Republikaner, PDS, and DVU;
postmaterialism (Inglehart Index);
trust in institutions: trust in Federal Parliament, the Federal Constitutional Court, Federal Government, the judiciary, the police, administration, churches, parties, the Federal German Armed Forces, trade unions, ecological groups and in trade associations as well as employer's associations;
preference for chancellor;
sympathy scale for candidates for chancellor Kohl and Schroeder;
assessment of characteristics of the two candidates for chancellor regarding sympathy, trustworthiness, energy and their concepts to improve the economy (economic skills);
preference of political participation (scale);
left-right self-placement;
feeling of representation in selected associations, institutions and parties;
assessment of closeness of trade unions, trade and employer's associations, ecological groups and churches to selected parties;
social moral orientations (scale);
satisfaction with the Federal Government;
geographic connection: connected to the community, the city, the region, the federal state, old FRG / GDR, and Germany;
left-right placement of parties;
media usage: frequency of reading 'BILD-Zeitung', local, regional and national daily newspapers;
frequency of reception of political news on television (ARD, ZDF and private TV);
assessment of the fairness of the social system in the Federal Republic;
belonging to the underprivileged or to the privileged section of population;
behavior at the polls in the Federal Parliament election 1994;
extremism scale: national pride, nationalization of important companies, courage to sense of nationality, group interests subordinated to public welfare, dictatorship as the better type of state, good aspects of National Socialism, without extermination of Jews, Hitler as a great statesman, foreign infiltration of the Federal Republic, GDR with more good than bad aspects, foreigners should marry countrymen, influence of Jews still too big, socialism as good concept but badly executed, Jews don't fit in society and sympathy with attacks on homes for people seeking political asylum.

age (month of birth, year of birth);
religious denomination;
frequency of church attendance;
memberships in citizen's initiative, party, trade association or trade union;
party preference;
party identification;
reasons for party preference (scale);
strength and length of this party preference;
education and school degree;
aimed form of graduation;
completed apprenticeship;
present or previous employment;
previous employment: until when;
involuntary change of job or unemployment since 1994;
withdraw from working life since 1994;
employment in the civil service;
employment status;
marital status;
living together with a partner;
information on partner: education and school degree, aimed form of graduation, completed apprenticeship, present or previous employment, previous employment: until when, involuntary change of job or unemployment since 1994, withdraw from working life since 1994, employment in the civil service, and employment status;
household size;
number of persons 16 years old or older in household;
number of persons contributing to the income of the household;
household's net income;
self-assessment of social class (respondent's subjective strata);
which part of strata;
strata compared to the parents;
telephone in the household;
willingness to participate in a further interview 2002.

Additionally encoded was:
respondent number;
West-East split;
date of Interview (pre/post);
year of interview;
date of interview;
length of interview;
size of town (politically and BIK (Boustedt);
district of the interview;
federal state;
weighting factors.

Variable Groups

Document Description

Full Title

Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1998

Study Description

Full Title

Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1998

Identification Number


Authoring Entity

Name Affiliation
Falter, Jürgen W. Universität Mainz
Gabriel, Oscar W. Universität Stuttgart
Rattinger, Hans Universität Bamberg


Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (archive release data set and DDI documentation), GESIS

Date of Production


Place of Production

Cologne, Germany

Data Distributor

Name Affiliation Abbreviation
GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany GESIS


Version 4.0.0 (2015-06-30), doi:10.4232/1.11968

Date: 2015-06-30

Type: GESIS archive edition

Version Responsibility Statement

GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences

Bibliographic Citation

Falter, Jürgen W.; Gabriel, Oscar W.; Rattinger, Hans (2015):
Political Attitudes, Political Participation and Voting Behavior in Reunified Germany 1998. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA3066 Data file Version 4.0.0, doi:10.4232/1.11968.

Topic Classification

  • Political Attitudes and Behavior
  • Cultural and national identity
  • Social behaviour and attitudes
  • Mass media
  • Mass political behaviour, attitudes / opinion
  • Government, political systems and organisation
  • Elections
  • Economic conditions and indicators
  • Economic systems and development

Geographic Coverage



All German persons who at the time of survey were 16 years old or older as well as living in private households.

Time Method

1998-08 - 1998-11
The individual survey times:
pre-election West: 26. August 1998 to 26. September 1998;
pre-election East: 30. August 1998 to 25. September 1998;
by-election West: 08. October 1998 to 21. November 1998;
by-election East: 13. October 1998 to 21. November 1998.

Data Collector


Sampling Procedure

The ADM Master Sample is a stratified, three-step random selection and is based on election precincts of Federal Parliament elections. Two nets of the ADM sample system were used such that in Eastern Germany a double net was used which means that for an over-sample this was doubled.
The target household was selected according to random route procedure, the target person in the household was determined by Sweden key.

Mode of Data Collection

Oral survey with standardized questionnaire

Availability Status


Access Authority

Name Affiliation E-mail address Universal Resource Identifier

Related Materials






SPSS English

SPSS German

SPSS portable English

SPSS portable German

Stata English

Stata German

Related Publications

Related Publications

Heindl, Markus:
Auswirkungen individueller Parteipräferenzen auf die Bewertung der wirtschaftlichen Lage 1994-2002.
Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag 2003

Other References Note

Further Remarks

The data set presented here consists of 4 partial surveys.
They consist of pre-election and by-election investigations in the eastern and western parts of the Federal Republic.
The questionnaire of the study was developed in cooperation with the preparation group German National Election Study (DNW) founded on an informal bases.

Data Files Description

File Name


Overall Case Count


Overall Variable Count


Type of File

Nesstar 200801


Metadata Index

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