Prof. Dr. Jan Paul Heisig

Portrait Foto Dr. Jan Paul Heisig (Foto: David Ausserhofer)
Foto: David Ausserhofer


+49 30 25491 180
jan.heisig [at]
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
D 214
Head of the Research Group

Research fields

Health and Social Inequality | Education and Labor Markets | Welfare State and Social Inequality | Aging and Retirement | Quantitative Methods | Time Use and Domestic Division of Labor


since 04 2021 Professor of Sociology, Freie Universität Berlin.

since 01 2019 Head of the WZB Research Group "Health and Social Inequality" WZB.

04 2013 - 12 2018 Research Fellow in the Research Unit “Skill Formation and Labor Markets".

07 2013 PhD in Sociology. Thesis title: „Late-career Risks in Changing Welfare States“.

09 2007 – 03 2013 Research Fellow in the Research Unit “Inequality and Social Integration”, “Life Course Risks Project - The Economic Consequences of Key Life Risks in Germany and the US and Their Evolution since the 1980s”.

08 2007 Diploma (MA equivalent) in Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin. Thesis title: “The Domestic Division of Labor in Comparative Perspective”.

2005 – 2006 Visiting Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, Stanford University, USA.

Selected Publications

Hornberg, Carla/Heisig, Jan Paul/Solga, Heike (2023): "Explaining the Training Disadvantage of Less-educated Workers. The Role of Labor Market Allocation in International Comparison". In: Socio-Economic Review, advance access, 29.04.2023, online:
Power, Séamus A./Schaeffer, Merlin/Heisig, Jan P./Udsen, Rebecca/Morton, Thomas (2023): "Why Trust? A Mixed-Method Investigation of the Origins and Meaning of Trust during the COVID-19 Lockdown in Denmark". In: British Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 62, No. 3, S. 1376-1394. (vorab online publiziert 07.03.2023)
Heisig, Jan Paul/Matthewes, Sönke Hendrik (2022): "No Evidence that Strict Educational Tracking Improves Student Performance through Classroom Homogeneity. A Critical Reanalysis of Esser and Seuring (2020)". In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Vol. 51, No. 1, S. 99-111.
Li, Jianghong/ Akaliyski, Plamen/ Heisig, Jan Paul/ Löbl, Simon/ Minkov, Michael (2022): "Flexible Societies Excelled in Saving Lives in the First Phase of the Covid-19 Pandemic". In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 13, Article 924385, S. 1-13.
Bol, Thijs/Heisig, Jan Paul (2021): "Explaining Wage Differentials by Field of Study Among Higher Education Graduates. Evidence from a Large-Scale Survey of Adult Skills". In: Social Science Research, Vol. In Press, Article 102594. (vorab online publiziert 17.06.2021)
Elff, Martin/Heisig, Jan Paul/Schaeffer, Merlin/Shikano, Susumu (2021): "Multilevel Analysis with Few Clusters. Improving Likelihood-Based Methods to Provide Unbiased Estimates and Accurate Inference". In: British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 51, No. 1, S. 412-426. (vorab online publiziert 13.05.2020; als Preprint publiziert in SocArXiv, 10.12.2016)
Elff, Martin/Heisig, Jan Paul/Schaeffer, Merlin/Shikano, Susumu (2021): "Rejoinder to Daniel Stegmueller's Comments". In: British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 51, No. 1, S. 460-462. (vorab online publiziert 13.05.2020)
Heisig, Jan Paul (2021): "Soziale Ungleichheit und gesundheitliches Risiko in der Pandemie". In: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Hg.): Corona. Pandemie und Krise. Schriftenreihe der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung , Bd. 10714. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, S. 332-344.
Heisig, Jan Paul/Elbers, Benjamin/Solga, Heike (2020): "Cross-National Differences in Social Background Effects on Educational Attainment and Achievement. Absolute vs. Relative Inequalities and the Role of Education Systems". In: Compare - A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Vol. 50, No. 2, Special Issue "Exploring the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Implications for Comparative Education Research and Policy", S. 165-184. (vorab online publiziert 18.10.2019)
Heisig, Jan Paul/Schaeffer, Merlin (2020): "The Educational System and the Ethnic Skills Gap among the Working-Age Population. An Analysis of 16 Western Immigration Countries". In: Socius - Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, Vol. 6, S. 1-18.
Heisig, Jan Paul/Gesthuizen, Maurice/Solga, Heike (2019): "Lack of Skills or Formal Qualifications? New Evidence on Cross-Country Differences in the Labor Market Disadvantage of Less-educated Adults". In: Social Science Research, Vol. 83, Article 102314, S. 1-20. (vorab online publiziert 02.07.2019)
Heisig, Jan Paul/Schaeffer, Merlin (2019): "Why You Should Always Include a Random Slope for the Lower-Level Variable Involved in a Cross-Level Interaction". In: European Sociological Review, Vol. 35, No. 2, S. 258–279. (vorab online publiziert 02.02.2019)
Heisig, Jan Paul (2018): "Measuring the Signaling Value of Educational Degrees. Secondary Education Systems and the Internal Homogeneity of Educational Groups". In: Large-scale Assessments in Education - An IEA-ETS Research Institute Journal, Vol. 6, Article 9, S. 1-35.
Heisig, Jan Paul/Lancee, Bram/Radl, Jonas (2018): "Ethnic Inequality in Retirement Income. A Comparative Analysis of Immigrant-native Gaps in Western Europe". In: Ageing and Society, Vol. 38, No. 10, S. 1963-1994. (vorab online publiziert 04.05.2017)
Heisig, Jan Paul/Radl, Jonas (2017): "Adding Scars to Wrinkles? Long-run Effects of Late-Career Job Loss on Retirement Behavior and Personal Income". In: Work, Aging and Retirement, Vol. 3, No. 3, S. 257-272. (vorab online publiziert 04.04.2017)
Heisig, Jan Paul/Schaeffer, Merlin/Giesecke, Johannes (2017): "The Costs of Simplicity. Why Multilevel Models May Benefit from Accounting for Cross-Cluster Differences in the Effects of Controls". In: American Sociological Review, Vol. 82, No. 4, S. 796-827. (als Preprint publiziert in SSRN, 16.12.2015)
Heisig, Jan Paul/Solga, Heike (2017): How Returns to Skills Depend on Formal Qualifications. Evidence from PIAAC. OECD Education Working Papers 163. Paris: OECD.
Heisig, Jan Paul (2016): "Retirement Income Provision and Household Income. Between- and Within-Cohort Inequalities in Germany and the United States since the 1980s". In: Melike Wulfgramm/Tonia Bieber/Stephan Leibfried (Eds.): Welfare State Transformations and Inequality in OECD Countries. Series Transformations of the State. London: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 131-155.
Giesecke, Johannes/Heisig, Jan Paul/Solga, Heike (2015): "Getting more Unequal. Rising Labor Market Inequalities among Low-skilled Men in West Germany". In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Vol. 39, S. 1-17. (Vorab online publiziert 27. Oktober 2014)
Heisig, Jan Paul (2015): Late-Career Risks in Changing Welfare States. Comparing Germany and the United States since the 1980s. Series Changing Welfare States. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 335 S.
Heisig, Jan Paul/Solga, Heike (2015): "Secondary Education Systems and the General Skills of Less- and Intermediate-educated Adults. A Comparison of 18 Countries". In: Sociology of Education, Vol. 88, No. 3, S. 202-225. (Vorab online publiziert 28. Mai 2015)
Kohler, Ulrich/Ehlert, Martin/Grell, Britta/Heisig, Jan Paul/Radenacker, Anke/Wörz, Markus (2012): "Verarmungsrisiken nach kritischen Lebensereignissen in Deutschland und den USA". In: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Jg. 64, H. 2, S. 223-245.
Alber, Jens/Heisig, Jan Paul (2011): Do New Labour Activation Policies Work? A Descriptive Analysis of the German Hartz Reforms. WZB Discussion Paper SP I 2011-211. Berlin: WZB.
Heisig, Jan Paul (2011): "Who Does More Housework: Rich or Poor? A Comparison of 33 Countries". In: American Sociological Review, Vol. 76, No. 1, S. 74-99.
Giesecke, Johannes/Heisig, Jan Paul (2010): "Destabilisierung und Destandardisierung, aber für wen? Die Entwicklung der westdeutschen Arbeitsplatzmobilität seit 1984". In: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Jg. 62, H. 3, S. 403-435.
Portrait Foto Dr. Jan Paul Heisig (Foto: David Ausserhofer)
Foto: David Ausserhofer


+49 30 25491 180
jan.heisig [at]
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
D 214

Open Access