Programme for the International
Assessment of Adult Competencies

Conference Contact

Piaac 2017


The International Conference on PIAAC and PIAAC-Longitudinal

April 5 – 6, 2017 in Mannheim, Germany

Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Dr. Eric A. Hanushek
(Stanford University, USA)
Dr. Matthias von Davier (National Board of Medical Examiners/NBME, USA)


You can find the program in pdf-format here (1.5 MB).


Monday, April 3rd, 2017 GESIS Mannheim
10.00 - 18.00 Workshop A: Analyzing PIAAC data with structural equation modeling in Mplus (Ronny Scherer) Workshop B: Analyzing PIAAC data with multi-level analysis in Stata (Jan Paul Heisig)
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 GESIS Mannheim
09.00 - 16.00 Workshop A: Analyzing PIAAC data with structural equation modeling in Mplus (Ronny Scherer) Workshop B: Analyzing PIAAC data with multi-level analysis in Stata (Jan Paul Heisig)
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 Dorint Hotel
18.30 - 20.00 Informal Get-together
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 Dorint Hotel
8.00 - 9.00 Registration
9.00 – 9.15 Welcome Address
9.15 – 10.45 Invited Symposium I: Longitudinal follow-ups of PIAAC (Chair: B. Rammstedt & A. Zabal) (53 KB) Invited Symposium II: Surveying migrant subpopulations: Skills, surveying practices and recommendations for PIAAC (Chair: D. Maehler) (917 KB) Invited Symposium III: The economics of skills (Chair: L. Wößmann) (772 KB)
10.45 - 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 - 12.30 Invited Symposium IV: Competence measures and general mental ability (Chairs: F. Goldhammer & C. Carstensen) (58 KB) Invited Symposium V: Adult reading and numeracy skills and practices (Chair: A. Grotlüschen) (1.1 MB) Invited Symposium VI: Overeducation and skill mismatch in labor markets (Chair: P. Protsch) (1.2 MB)
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 - 14.15 Keynote: Prof. Dr. Eric A. Hanushek
14.15 – 14.45 Plenary debate on Keynote (Moderator: L. Wößmann; Discussants: H. Solga & W. Thorn)
14.45 - 15.00 Coffee break
15.00 – 16.30 Symposium VII: The social context of skills: Improving the PIAAC Background Questionnaire (Chairs: N. Massing & S. Schneider) (1.1 MB) Invited Symposium VIII: Dynamics of participation in further education and its effects (Chair: H. Kuper) (62 KB) Invited Symposium IX: Skills and the labor market (Chair: S. Wiederhold) (778 KB)
16.30 – 17.30 Individual Paper Session I: Mismatch in the labor market (Chair: B. Schmidt-Hertha)
(705 KB)
Individual Paper Session II: Digital skills  and inequality (Chair: F. Goldhammer)
(764 KB)
Individual Paper Session III: Competence assessment (Chair: Anouk Zabal)
(568 KB)
19.00 Complimentary Conference Dinner
Thursday, April 6th, 2017 Dorint Hotel
8.00 - 8.30 Registration
8.30 - 9.15 Keynote: Dr. Matthias von Davier
9.15 - 9.45 Plenary debate on Keynote (Moderator: C. Carstensen; Discussants: J.-E. Gustafson & R. Desjardins)
9.45 - 11.15 Individual Paper Session IV: Skill formation across the life course  (Chair: H. Kuper)
(967 KB)
Invited Symposium X: Assessing non-cognitive skills in large-scale assessments (Chairs: B. Rammstedt & D. Danner) (713 KB) Individual Paper Session V: Response styles  (Chair: M. von Davier)
(467 KB)
11.15 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 13.00 Symposium XI: Social trust, education and skills (Chair: W. Thorn) (49 KB) Individual Paper Session VI: Skills and wages (Chair: M. Paccagnella)
(861 KB)
Individual Paper Session VII: Civic engagement and migrant skills  (Chair: P. Protsch)
(1.0 MB)
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.30 Individual Paper Session VIII: Returns to education and skills (Chair: J.P. Heisig)
(1.0 MB)
Symposium XII: Skills in the labor market, choices in the working sphere, and the anatomy of risk and trust preferences (Chair: D. Schnitzlein) (875 KB) Individual Paper Session IX: Skill gain and loss around the world (Chair: S. Wiederhold)
(701 KB)
15.30 - 15:45 Closing Remarks by Coffee and Tee
Friday, April 7rd, 2017 GESIS Mannheim
09.00 - 13.00 Workshop C: Analyzing PIAAC log file data (Frank Goldhammer & Krisztina Tóth)

Keynote Lectures

Keynote: What can be gained from international surveys?

Prof. Dr. Eric A. Hanushek


Prof. Dr. Eric A. Hanushek

Standford University, USA


 Abstract: Many countries have been expanding their survey data about their economies and their labor markets, so it is natural to consider how the PIAAC surveys can potentially add to our knowledge about economic outcomes. The primary space that these data open up is a fertile new area of research – what might be called a vastly enriched “comparative economic systems.” The PIAAC data, with the comprehensive picture of the labor force and labor market outcomes for a range of countries, change the vantage point for considering operations of labor markets. Analyses of markets within individual countries can at best be generalized to outcomes in the individual country, although this limitation is seldom noted. So people have been quite willing to take the results of from one place and to apply them broadly without clear understanding of how local institutions may affect these results.

Some initial analyses of the PIAAC data suggest that the institutional structure of individual economies may be very important. A simple but powerful example is seen in the dramatically different estimates of the returns to skills across countries. A second example comes from looking at individual submarkets. For example, the determination of salaries, the selection of teachers, and ultimately the impact of varying teacher quality appear very different across countries. And, while these labor market differences have been the subject of considerable speculation and assertion, they have not previously been subject to rigorous analysis because of the lack of appropriate data.

The new comparative economic systems subfield would begin to investigate how the institutional structure of countries guides and defines the operation of individual labor markets. And, to this end, the PIAAC surveys begin to open a window on the similarities and differences of national and regional labor markets.


Keynote: Comparability of scales in international assessments

Dr. Matthias von Davier


Dr. Matthias von Davier

National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), USA


Abstract: International comparisons of student and adult skills are scrutinized by experts in educational and psychological measurement. Important policy decisions are being made on the basis of data collected in assessment programs such as PIAAC, PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS, so that the quality of measurement is an issue of utmost importance. Several advances in modeling international data with generalized latent variable models have been developed and integrated into the analysis of data. These advances allow modeling data from a diverse set of countries in ways that reduce bias in the derived proficiency distributions. One particular aspect of these advances in explanatory models is the ability to account for country or language specific differences with respect to the ability to use models that incorporate strong measurement invariance. The talk will provide an overview of the methodologies used and provide an outlook with respect to the use of additional sources of data collected in computer based assessments.

Pre- and Post-Conference Workshops

Monday to Tuesday, April 3rd-4th, 2017

GESIS Mannheim

10.00 - 18.00

9.00 - 16.00

Workshop A: Analyzing PIAAC data with structural equation modeling in Mplus (Dr. Ronny Scherer, CEMO, Oslo)

Workshop B: Analyzing PIAAC data with multi-level analysis in Stata (Dr. Jan Paul Heisig, WZB, Berlin)

Friday, April 7th, 2017

GESIS Mannheim

9.00 - 13.00

Workshop C: Analyzing PIAAC log file data (Prof. Dr. Frank Goldhammer & Krisztina Tóth, DIPF, Frankfurt a.M.)

Scientific Committee

Submission and Registration

Deadlines for submission and registration

Submission of symposia

Sept. 30, 2016

Submission of individual presentations or posters

Oct. 31, 2016

Notification of acceptance

until Dec. 15, 2016

Registration to the conference

until Feb. 15, 2017


Types of contributions

We welcome both contributions with a substantial focus as well as methodological contributions. All contributions should either use PIAAC data or show implications for the next international PIAAC cycle.

Symposia (90 min.)

A symposium consists of four to five presentations and is organized by a chair. As a focused session in which individual speakers present their research on a common issue, the symposium should provide diversity of perspective as well as integration of those perspectives. Please submit the title and an abstract of the symposium (max. 350 words) along with the authors’ names and affiliations, titles and abstracts (max. 350 words) for each of the contributions.

Single Presentations (10 to 20 min.)

Single presentations are organized into thematic sessions consisting of four to six presentations (session length: 90 min.). Please submit the names and affiliations of the authors, the title of your presentation and an abstract (max. 350 words).


There will be no conference fees.


For more information on the scientific program please contact:

Débora B. Maehler (E-Mail) or Beatrice Rammstedt (E-Mail)


For organizational information please contact:

Daniela Niederauer (E-Mail)

Maria Kreppe-Aygün +49 (621) 1246-184


GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences

P.O. Box 12  21 55

68072 Mannheim, Germany

E-Mail: piaac2017(at)gesis(dot)org