The modified question for the income measurement in the European Social Survey
LCDBA CEPS/INSTEAD Differdange, Luxembourg
Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik, Jürgen HP
Center for Survey Design and Methodology GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Mannheim, Germany
In social surveys the measurement of "total net household income" is influenced by
- the household definition and size,
- the respondent´s family relation to the main income earner,
- the main source of income,
- the income composition, and
- the respondent´s capability to remember income element.
Comparing the household income across countries, these impacts are obvious and visible in the first round of the European Social Survey. The data collection of ESS did not consider the different national income distributions and did not take into account the various national concepts of income for the operationalization of the income questions.
In the forth round of the interviews for ESS, the survey coordinators took up parts of our suggestions and modified the national income questions.
This presentation shows the modifications of the fieldwork instruments and illustrates the improvements for the quality of the income measure.