German Microdata Lab

Development of a European Socio-Economic Classification Scheme

In the context of the ESeC (European Socio-Economic Classification) project, the objective was to generate a conceptually lucid, validated, and easily implemented European socio-economic classification of individuals and households.

ESeC bears a close resemblance to Erikson’s and Goldthorpe’s widely used class scheme. This substantially improves comparative research in a number of research fields in the area of social structure and social change in European societies, because it is used in various, regularly completed major data collections (e.g. labor, income and consumption surveys) of European Statistical Offices or in the European Social Survey. 

The ESeC project was directed by David Rose (University of Essex) and conducted by teams of researchers based in several countries. The German project partners were based at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (Walter Müller, Reinhard Pollak, Cornelia Hausen, Jean-Marie Jungblut) and at GESIS (Heike Wirth). 


Project duration

2004 - 2007

See also: 

  • Wirth, Heike; Fischer. Andreas (2008): ESeC – European Socioeconomic
    Classification. Die Operationalisierung von ESeC im kumulierten ALLBUS
    1980-2006 [.pdf] (459 kB).
  • ESeC Homepage
  • Paper zur European Socio-Economic Classification Validation Conference vom 19.-21.01. 2006 in Lissabon, Portugal.
  • Bauer, Gerrit; Jungblut, Jean-Marie; Müller, Walter; Pollak, Reinhard; Wirth, Heike (2006): Issues in the Comparative Measurement of the Supervisory Function. Workshop on the Application of ESeC vom 29.-30.06.2006 in Bled, Slovenia [.pdf] (238 kB).
  • Müller, Walter; Wirth, Heike; Bauer, Gerrit; Pollak, Reinhard; Weiss, Felix (2006): ESeC – Kurzbericht zur Validierung und Operationalisierung einer europäischen sozioökonomischen Klassifikation. In: ZUMA-Nachrichten 59, Jg. 30, November 2006, S. 111 – 119 [.pdf] (211 kB).
  • MZES: http://www.mzes.uni-mannheim.de