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ESEC Report Summary

Project ID: 506452
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - ESEC (European socio-economic classification)

As part of the work programme to develop and validate a 'European socio-economic classification' (ESEC), all National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) within the European Union (EU), together with candidate countries (plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) were requested to test a prototype classification proposed by the project consortium and to report their findings at a workshop convened for this purpose by the University of Warwick (IER) team members.

Twelve NSIs responded to this request (Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway). Additionally, the NSIs from a further nine countries sent representatives to the workshop to learn more about the development and implementation of the ESEC. Other organisations participating included Eurostat, AO Consult and Trexima (Bratislava and Zlin).

The workshop represented an important milestone towards the ultimate goal of establishing a harmonised European socio-economic classification. The programme for the workshop was structured in two parts. Day one was devoted to description of the work to develop and validate the ESEC by the project consortium members. Day two was devoted primarily to the presentations made by invited NSIs, detailing their experiences from the application of the ESEC within their national statistical sources. Day three was reserved for a meeting of consortium members, to discuss the workshop findings and to plan their activities for the remaining four months of the project.

The presentations were titled:
- ESEC - A programme of statistical cooperation and harmonisation
- ESEC in EU statistical sources
- Issues in the comparative measurement of supervisory function
- Using the ESEC to describe health inequalities in Europe
- Class and poverty: cross-sectional and dynamic analysis of income poverty and lifestyle deprivation
- Using ESEC to look across and within classes
- Validating ESEC: class of origin and educational inequalities in contemporary Italy
- How to validate a prototype ESEC? An example on French data
- Class schemas and employment relations: comparisons between the ESEC and the EGP class schemas using European data
- ESEC, ISCO88 and ISCO08
- The application of ESEC to statistical sources - NSI presentations
- Using ESEC in the LFS
- Implementing the ESEC at the Swiss Federal Statistical Office
- Application of the ESEC to data from the Dutch LFS: a comparison between years
- Application of ESEC in Estonian social surveys based on EU-SILC and LFS data
- ESEC and gender
- Structure of the Hungarian population in employment by ESEC
- Activities to implement ESEC in Germany
- Operationalising ESEC in Finnish statistical sources, Finnish EU SILC and Census 2000
- European social classification: a validation exercise
- A comparison between the Swedish socio-economic classification and ESEC
- Labour market statistics - How to implement ESEC
- An insight into responses to the questions related to supervisory functions in
- French data sources since 1984
- Euroccupations and its relevance to ESEC
- ESEC as a core variable: next steps.

The following remarks can be concluded:
- The work of the consortium had shown that an ESEC prototype could be developed and implemented with ease by national statistical institutes across the European Union (EU).
- The current ESEC prototype had revealed that there were variations in life chances between ESEC classes for those countries that had conducted such studies.
- Not all countries were agreed that the definition of groups within the ESEC prototype were the most appropriate. However, there was general agreement that the conceptual basis of the classification should relate to the nature of the employment relationship.
- There was general agreement that there was more work to be done in specific areas, particularly further work to study the nature of employment relationships in different countries; further work to harmonise key classifying variables, particularly employment status and occupation; additional work to establish the type of information relating to supervisory responsibilities which would be sufficiently robust across all European countries to facilitate the incorporation of this information within the construction of the ESEC.

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