A Standard International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status

Harry BG Ganzeboom*, Paul M. De Graaf, Donald J Treiman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In this paper we present an International Socio-Economic Index of occupational
status (ISEI), derived from the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), using comparably coded data on education, occupation, and income
for 73,901 full-time employed men from 16 countries. We use an optimal scaling
procedure, assigning scores to each of 271 distinct occupation categories in such
a way as to maximize the role of occupation as an intervening variable between
education and income (in contrast to taking prestige as the criterion for weighting
education and income, as in the Duncan scale). We compare the resulting scale
to two existing internationally standardized measures of occupational status, Treiman’s international prestige scale (SIOPS) and Goldthorpe’s class categories
(EGP), and also with several locally developed SE1 scales. The performance of
the new ISEI scale compares favorably with these alternatives, both for the data
sets used to construct the scale and for five additional data sets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-56
JournalSocial Science Research
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Social_stratification, Comparative_measurement


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