How to revise ESeC with ISCO-08

In European social sciences the most commonly used social class schema at present is ESeC (Rose and Harrison 2010). Each category is allocated by using a combination of: i) information about occupation coded to minor group level of the International Classification of Occupations (i.e. 3-digits ISCO-88), and ii) information about employment status and size of organisation in the form of an employment status variable. In 2008, a new International Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08) replaces the previous version. Unfortunately, downgrading ISCO-08 into ISCO-88 is not possible without loss or distortion of information. Some categories in ISCO-88 have indeed been merged, split or moved to reflect occupational and technological change in the labour market. Moreover, new categories have been created to allow for the identification of new or emerging occupational groups. This explains why ISCO-08 has hardly been used as a classification tool by projects.

As far as we know, the conversion matrix from ISCO to ESeC is not yet available for the new classification of occupations. To fill the gap, at least for Italy, we are going to update the matrix mainly through the correspondence table between ISCO-08 and ISCO-88 provided by the International Labour Organization (ILO) but also taking care to lose as little information as possible. To validate our choices we use data coming from the first wave of “Indagine sulle condizioni di vita delle famiglie trentine” (2005) which include two open ended question about the title of occupation and the main tasks usually performed in carrying out it.

Finally, we are going to provide a program to derive ESeC from ISCO-08 for all Stata users.

Date: From 2015 to 2016


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