Measuring occupations in web-surveys the WISCO database of occupations

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Tijdens, K.G. (2010) Measuring occupations in web-surveys the WISCO database of occupations. AIAS Working Paper, 10-86. University of Amsterdam / Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS). (EN).



Occupation is a key variable in socio-economic research. In surveys, occupation is predominantly asked using an open response format, followed by fi eld- or offi ce-coding. Web-surveys can apply a closed response format, allowing for respondent’s self-identifi cation when using a detailed list of distinct occupational titles and a search tree for navigating. This article summarizes the principles underlying the WISCO Database of Occupations for web-surveys, which includes a source list of 1,594 occupational titles in English, countryspecifi c translations of these occupational titles, and a 3-tier search tree. The occupational titles are coded according to ILO’s international classifi cation of occupations, ISCO-08. The database has been designed as part of the EU-FP6 EurOccupations project, measuring occupations with a greater precision than ISCO 4-digit by adding further digits, and is freely available from The WISCO Database is currently used in the WageIndicator web-survey on work and wages in approximately 50 countries, see