Internationally Comparable Measures of Occupational Status for the 1988 International Standard Classification of Occupations
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Social Science Research 25 (3): 201 - 239 (1996)

This paper provides operational procedures for coding internationally comparable measures of occupational status from the recently published International Standard Classification of Occupation 1988 (ISCO88) of the International Labor Office (ILO, 1990). We first discuss the nature of the ISCO88 classification and its relationship to national classifications used around the world and also to its predecessor, ISCO68 (ILO, 1969), which has been widely utilized in comparative research. We argue that comparative research would gain much from adopting ISCO88 as the standard tool of classification and provide guidance on how to do this. We then outline the procedures we have used to generate new standard recodes for three internationally comparable measures of occupational status: Treiman's Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale (SIOPS), Ganzeboom et al.'s International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI), and Erikson and Goldthorpe's class categories (EGP). To update the SIOPS prestige scores we have directly matched the occupational titles in the SIOPS scale to the categories of the ISCO88 classification. For ISEI scores we have replicated the procedure used to create scores for the ISCO68 categories, employing the same data but using newly developed matches between the underlying national occupational classifications and ISCO88. To construct the EGP class codes we have mapped the ISCO88 occupation categories into a 10-category classification developed by the CASMIN project for a 12-country analysis. To validate these scales, we estimated parameters of a basic status-attainment model from an independent source of data: the pooled file from the International Social Justice Project (a large international data file that combines data from sample surveys in 14 countries). Estimates based on occupational status scales derived from ISCO88 and ISCO68 are highly similar.
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