Measurement Error in Occupational Coding:An Analysis on Share Data

29 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2014

See all articles by Michele Belloni

Michele Belloni

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia; Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP); Netspar

Agar Brugiavini

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Elena Meschi

Ca Foscari University of Venice

K. G. Tijdens

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS); Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Faculty of Social Sciences

Date Written: December 10, 2014

Abstract

This article studies the potential measurement errors when coding occupational data. The quality of occupational data is important but often neglected. We recoded open-ended questions on occupation for last and current job in the Dutch SHARE data, using the CASCOT ex-post coding software. The disagreement rate, defined as the percentage of observations coded differently in SHARE and CASCOT, is high even when compared at ISCO 1-digit level (33.7% for last job and 40% for current job). This finding is striking, considering our conservative approach to exclude vague and incomplete answers. The level of miscoding should thus be considered as a lower bound of the “true” miscoding. This highlights the complexity of occupational coding and suggests that measurement error due to miscoding should be taken into account when making statistical analysis or writing econometric models. We tested whether the measurement error is random or correlated to individual or job-related characteristics, and we found that the measurement error is indeed more evident in ISCO-88 groups 1 and 3 and is more pronounced for higher educated individuals and males. These groups may be sorted in occupations that are intrinsically more difficult to be classified, or education and gender may affect the way people describe their jobs.

Keywords: occupation, ISCO, disagreement rate, coding software, gender, education

JEL Classification: C81, C88, J01, J21 J82

Suggested Citation

Belloni, Michele and Brugiavini, Agar and Meschi, Elena and Tijdens, Kea Gartje, Measurement Error in Occupational Coding:An Analysis on Share Data (December 10, 2014). University Ca' Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Working Paper Series No. 24/WP/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2539080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2539080

Michele Belloni

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP) ( email )

Via Real Collegio, 30
Moncalieri, Turin 10024
Italy

Netspar

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Agar Brugiavini

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

Elena Meschi (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123
Italy

Kea Gartje Tijdens

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) ( email )

PLantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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