The Development of a European Socio-economic Classification (ESeC)

Research question/goal: 

In cooperation with research teams from several European countries (director David Rose, University of Essex) the project has developed a new socio-economic classification for persons and households (ESeC European Socio-economic Classification). ESeC is based on the theory and schema of social classes developed by John Goldthorpe, which is one of the most widely used instruments in scholarly research to assess the social class position of individuals and families. The development of ESeC has especially focused on a thorough examination of its validity, reliability and cross-national comparability. The project publications show that ESeC satisfies high standards in these respects. The Mannheim team has contributed the respective analyses for Germany. Besides its publications a major result of the project are recommendations for the standardized collection of data in social surveys that are needed to construct ESeC. The project has also provided IT-routines for its technical implementation in social science databases. ESeC is already implemented in several databases such as the European Social Survey and the European Community Household Panel. The European Statistical Office has established a working group to examine its implementation as a standard instrument for the large scale surveys of the European Statistical Agencies. With the development of ESeC the project thus has made an important contribution for the improvement of comparative research in various fields of the study of social structures and social change of advanced societies.  Download Stata Syntax for full version of ESeC for ESS-Data. For SPSS Syntax for full version of ESeC for ESS-Data see

Fact sheet

University of Mannheim / EU
2004 to 2007
Data Sources: 
microdata on social and economic issues collected by interna
Geographic Space: 
present and future EU member states