Tijdens, K.G., & Kaandorp, C.S. (2018). Validating occupational coding indexes for use in multicountry surveys. Survey Insights: Methods from the Field. Retrieved from https://surveyinsights.org/?p=10422

Tijdens, K.G., & Kaandorp, C.S. (2018). Validating occupational coding indexes for use in multicountry surveys. Survey Insights: Methods from the Field. Retrieved from https://surveyinsights.org/?p=10422

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ABSTRACT

Occupational coding in multi-country surveys is mostly a black box: have national survey agencies classified the same occupational titles into the same category across countries? This paper attempts to validate the coding from 5-digit occupational titles into the 4-digit occupational units of the international ISCO-08 classification, based on a comparison of coding indexes from national statistical offices. Two research objectives are central. To what extent are occupational titles in the coding indexes similar, when comparing their English translations? What percentage of similar occupational titles is coded similarly across countries? To answer these questions, we merged titles from 20 coding indexes (18 nonEnglish), resulting in 70,489 records. We translated the titles in English, using online dictionaries and Google translate (4.2% could not be translated). We checked for existent codes of the titles, using ILO’s ISCO-08 coding index (10.3% non-existent). The remaining database had 60,559 records, of which 32% had at least one duplicate title (19,044 records). These duplicate records could be aggregated into 5,350 occupational titles. Only 64% of these titles had the same ISCO-08 4-digit code, 70% at 3-digit, 74% at 2 digit, and 80% at 1-digit. Users of multi-country surveys should be cautious when using the 4-digit ISCO-08 codes.

KEYWORDS

isco-08 classification, multi-country surveys, Occupations, validation

Acknowledgement

This paper builds on research conducted as part of the SERISS - Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences – project, which has received funding from the H2020 Program of the European Union [Contract no. 654221, 2015-19]. This paper is based on SERISS Deliverable Nr D8.4: Validation of ISCO-08 codes + explanatory note, Kea Tijdens, Casper Kaandorp, University of Amsterdam/AIAS-HSI (April 2018). Downloadable at: www.seriss.eu/resources/deliverables.