Recommendations for Measuring International Demographics: Working Status

In many cultures, it is deemed socially desirable to be at work rather than not, which tends to favour the use of work rather than non-working codes. There is strong evidence that order bias may play a role here. An accurate question needs to be multi-coded and needs to mitigate social desirability bias by masking its intention.  

Working Status: The new ESOMAR Demographics Best Practice Recommendations for multi-country work

ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee is working with an expert project team to develop a series of recommendations on demographic standards to address inconsistencies that create barriers and inefficiencies in the exchange and evaluation of international data. The evidence-based best-practice proposals aim to raise data quality standards to provide more meaningful results that are comparable from one project/region to another.    

Working status, as traditionally defined by researchers, is becoming obsolete in light of contemporary global trends. In today's world, retired individuals often continue to work, and digital transformation has revolutionised the nature of work itself. Recognising these changes, the Demographic Working Group proposes an approach that recognises how this demographic is being used and addresses known problems, such as participants favouring socially desirable responses, ordering effects, and limited response options. The expanded best practice question structure facilitates different aggregations to cover employment status and proxy time availability in different ways.

Who's working on it?
An introduction to the expert project team

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