25. Januar 2017

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar

Computer Assisted Measurement and Coding of Educational Qualifications in Multicultural Surveys (CAMCES): a new set of survey tools


25. Januar 2017
12:30 - 13:30


DIW Berlin im Quartier 110
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Silke Schneider and Verena Ortmanns (GESIS)

Education is one of the most frequently used variables in social science research. Because of complex institutional differences between educational systems across the world, educational attainment is notoriously difficult to measure in a cross-cultural survey context. So far, surveys have only offered measurement instruments referring to the educational system of the survey country, which is not necessarily the country the respondent was educated in. Between 2013 and 2016, GESIS has therefore developed context-sensitive tools for measuring educational attainment in cross-cultural computer-assisted surveys – e.g. surveys of migrants, or cross-national surveys. The tools consist of an international database of educational qualifications, a universal coding scheme for educational attainment, a questionnaire module available in 5 languages, and a software interface to allow database searches in the questionnaire and provide context-sensitive (i.e. corresponding to the country in which respondents received their education) response categories to respondents. This will improve measurement quality for the education item in several ways, for example by allowing migrants to report the educational qualification they have actually achieved rather than guessing at some face value ‘equivalent’ in the survey country; by measuring at a detailed level so as to not confuse respondents with abstract aggregations of educational qualifications on long show cards and losing a substantial amount of information for analysis; and by standard coding routines for harmonization into various comparative education coding schemes during data processing, which could improve cross-survey consistency. The presentation will also report empirical results from 3 pilot studies: the SOEP Innovation Sample 2014, the SOEP Migrant Sample 2015 and the Dutch LISS panel in 2016. For all three studies, we have independent education measures from earlier panel waves using ‘established’ questionnaire items. This provides the opportunity to compare respondents’ educational attainment resulting from the open and closed questions.