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European Survey Data for Monitoring and Researching the Quality of Life Heinz-Herbert Noll GESIS- Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Social Indicators.

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Präsentation zum Thema: "European Survey Data for Monitoring and Researching the Quality of Life Heinz-Herbert Noll GESIS- Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Social Indicators."—  Präsentation transkript:

1 European Survey Data for Monitoring and Researching the Quality of Life Heinz-Herbert Noll GESIS- Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Social Indicators Research Centre - ZSi Mannheim ESAC Workshop Measuring and Comparing the Quality of Life within Europe, January 24-25, Brussels

2 Issue of Quality of Life Measurement not New! At least 4 decades of research on conceptualization, measurement and analysis of Quality of Life in academic social research, particularly social indicators research However, Quality of Life measurement rather new for Official Statistics at national and supra-national levels Need to de-mystify the task! Difficulties to find general agreement on QoL-Measurement may be due to the fact that QoL is a normative concept Despite variety of different approaches of how to conceptualize and operatio- nalize QoL, there is at least consensus about the multi-dimensionality of the QoL – Concept the need to include objective as well as subjective measures

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4 Life Domains Population, Household and Family Mobility & Transportation Leisure, Media & Culture Participation & Integration Income, Standard of Living & Consumption Patterns Education and Vocational Training Health Housing Labour Market & Working Conditions Social Security Public Safety & Crime Environment Total Life Situation

5 Usage of Objective and Subjective Indicators in QoL - Measurement Objective Indicators Measures unfiltered by perceptions and independent from personal evaluations Subjective Indicators (not limited to SWB – indicators) Measures expressing subjective states, perceptions, assessments, preferences, value orientations etc. While there are different possibilities of objective measurement, subjective measurement is restricted to the survey method. By generating subjective indicators, respondents are not only addressed as providers of information, but rather as subjects characterised by specific emotional states, opinions, value orientations, preferences etc.

6 Survey-Data for Comparative European Quality of Life Research Research Driven Surveys European Values Study (Consortium of Research Institutes) - 4 waves of data collection: 1981; 1990; 1999; 2008 (47 countries, incl. EU CC ) - Sample size: usually ca European Social Survey (Consortium of Research Institutes) - since 2002/2003; round 5 (2010/11) = 28 countries (incl. 6 non-EU; EU-countries missing: I, LU, MA, LV, RO); - Sample size: 1000 – 3000; usually Core Module + Rotating Modules, e.g.: Family, Work and Well-being (Wave 2 & 5) Personal and Social Well-Being (Wave 3 & 6)

7 Policy Driven Surveys Eurobarometer - EU Commission - since 1973 Standard EB + Central and Eastern EB +CCEB; EU 27 + current CC; semi-annual surveys - Sample size: ca. 1000, small countries: 500 European Quality of Life Survey - Eurofound ; 2007, 2011 (EU 27 + current CC) - Sample size: 1000, few countries 1500, 2000 Commercial Survey Gallup World Poll /06; 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 (96 countries, incl. EU CC) - Sample size: 1000 in most countries; more cases in few large countries Diverse well-being indices e.g. used for OECD – Better Life Index

8 All Surveys except EQLS are covering QoL as one of several fields Only EQLS specialized QoL – Survey Large differences in coverage of QoL – issues (number and kind of relevant questions / variables) Focus at subjective QoL – Indicators, however also some other relevant objective Indicators

9 Pronounced differences in survey quality Criteria, e.g. Country Coverage Periodicity / Frequency Richness of Content Validity / Reliability of Survey Instruments Sample Quality Timeliness

10 Source: Kohler 2008 Documentation Sampling Process Representativity External Criteria Representativity Internal Criteria Sample Quality ESS EVS EQLS EB 62.1 (2004) Source: Kohler 2008 Sample Quality of Survey Programmes

11 EVSESSEBEQLSGallup WP Strengths number of countries concept driven measurement data access methodolo- gical rigour concept driven measurement data access time period covered variety of inter- esting indicators semi-annual surveys complete coverage of EU- countries + CC focus on QoL–issues complete coverage of EU-countries + CC number of countries worldwide & Europe, incl. EU 27 variety of well-being indices Weaknesses sample size periodicity ( 5 to 10 years) country coverage sample size sample quality weak methodological standards sample size sample quality periodicity (4 years) sample size

12 Advantages of non-official compared to official surveys Disadvantages of non-official compared to official surveys Concept driven (example: well-being module ESS) Input-harmonization = improved compara- bility Attention payed to equalivalence and translation issues More innovative Smaller sample size (limited breakdowns; larger error margins) Eventually Sample bias Country Coverage Lower response rates High item non re- sponse for certain variables (e.g. income)

13 Effective harmonization strategy generally of crucial importance, but in- dispensible when it comes to subjective perceptions and assessments! Several potential effects to take into account, e.g. - question wording - answering scales - questionnaire context / question order Output harmonization insufficient! Example EU-SILC Making Ends Meet - Question German Speaking Countries

14 Germany 2005Germany 2006Germany 2010 Wie kommt der Haushalt mit dem mo- natlichen Nettoeinkommen zurecht? Betrachten Sie bitte das gesamte Mo- natseinkommen aus allen Einkom- mensquellen aller Haushaltsmit- glieder. Der Haushalt hat große finanzielle Schwierigkeiten (1). Der Haushalt hat finanzielle Schwierigkeiten (2) Der Haushalt kommt gerade so mit dem Einkommen zurecht (3) Der Haushalt kommt relativ gut mit dem Einkommen zurecht (4) Der Haushalt kommt gut mit dem Einkommen zurecht (5) Der Haushalt kommt sehr gut mit dem Einkommen zurecht (6) Wie kommt Ihr Haushalt mit dem monatlichen Einkommen zurecht? Bitte nur ein Kreuz machen. Sehr gut (1) Gut (2) Relativ gut (3) Relativ schlecht (4) Schlecht (5) Sehr schlecht (6) Wie kommt Ihr Haushalt mit dem monatlichen Einkommen zurecht ? Beziehen Sie bitte die Einkommen aller Haushaltsmitglieder mit ein. Kreuzen Sie bitte nur eine Antwort an. Sehr schlecht (1) Schlecht (2) Relativ schlecht (3) Relativ gut (4) Gut (5) Sehr gut (6)

15 Austria 2006Austria 2010Switzerland 2010 Wenn Sie an Ihr Netto-Haus- haltseinkommen denken, wie kommt Ihr Haushalt mit diesem Einkommen aus? gelbe LISTE 4 vorlegen ( 6 ) Sehr leicht ( 5 ) Leicht ( 4 ) Eher leicht ( 3 ) Mit einigen Schwierigkeiten ( 2 ) Mit Schwierigkeiten ( 1 ) Mit großen Schwierigkeiten Wie kommt Ihr Haushalt mit diesem Einkommen aus? (Alle Einkünfte aller Haushaltsmitglieder: Erwerbseinkom- men, Pensionen, Sozialleistungen (z.B. Familienbeihilfe), regelmäßige private Geldleistungen usw. VOR Ab- zug allfälliger Ausgaben wie Miete etc.) (INT: LISTE 4 vorlegen) ( 1 ) Mit großen Schwierigkeiten ( 2 ) Mit Schwierigkeiten ( 3 ) Mit einigen Schwierigkeiten ( 4 ) Eher leicht ( 5 ) Leicht ( 6 ) Sehr leicht Question Order Changed (Household Income Question now prior to making ends meet question Wenn Sie alle Einkommen in Ihrem Haushalt pro Monat zusam- menzählen und alle monatlich notwendigen Ausgaben abzählen, wie kommen Sie dann bis zum Monatsende finanziell über die Runden? Ist das 1: sehr schwierig 2 : schwierig 3 : eher schwierig 4 : ziemlich einfach 5 : einfach 6 : sehr einfach?

16 EU – SILC Problems of Output Harmonization Austria, Germany, Switzerland 2010: - 3 different questions - 3 different answering scales - A: different question order Germany 2005, 2006, different questions - 3 different answering scales Austria 2006, Slightly different questions - categories in answering scale reversed - question order changed Did not check for countries with different languages!

17 Source: Own Calculations by GESIS - ZSi Subgroups EU–SILC 2010EQLS 2007ESS 2010 GermanyPortugalGermanyPortugalGermanyPortugal Unemployed In Education / Training Single Mothers 6921 Persons < 25 years Lowest Income Quintile n.a. Lowest Income Decile n.a. Total Sample Number of Cases in Selected Subgroups – EU-SILC / EQLS / ESS

18 0,1 – 0,3 Confidence Intervals Life Satisfaction ESS 2010 – Total Scale 0-10 Source: Own Calculations by GESIS - ZSi

19 Confidence Interval Life Satisfaction EQLS 2007 – Total Scale ,1 – 0,4 Source: Own Calculations by GESIS - ZSi

20 0,4 – 1,4 Confidence Interval Life Satisfaction ESS 2010 – Unemployed Scale 0-10 Source: Own Calculations by GESIS - ZSi

21 0,7 – 2,0 Confidence Interval Life Satisfaction EQLS 2007 – Unemployed Scale 1-10 Source: Own Calculations by GESIS - ZSi

22 ESS : Household Income - % Missing Values (10 Income Classes) Source: Own Calculations by GESIS - ZSi

23 Summary Long tradition of measuring Quality of Life in academic research Variety of non-official data sources for monitoring and re- searching the Quality of Life in Europe Pronounced differences in content and data quality across non-official surveys Advantages and disadvantages of non-official compared to official surveys


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