Heike Wirth, Cornelia Gresch, Walter Müller, Reinhard Pollak, Felix Weiss
Validating the ESeC-scheme as operationalization of social class: The case of Germany

Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 119
ISSN: 1437-8574

This working paper summarizes the results of a validation study of the recently developed European Socio-economic Classification (ESeC) for the German context. The ESeC project set out to construct a scheme to operationalize social class position with official microdata in Europe in a comparable way. This study focuses on criterion validation, evaluating for the German context the capability of the classification to measure its theoretical premises. An ideal German version fitting the national context was constructed and compared with a first prototype of ESeC developed in the UK. Several changes in the prototype lead to a final version of ESeC that shows rather high criterion validity for Germany and allows for a comparison of social positions between European countries.