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WageIndicator Survey and Data

Find out more about WageIndicator survey methods and dataset.

The WageIndicator web-survey

The WageIndicator questionnaire

The WageIndicator dataset

The WageIndicator survey concepts

The WageIndicator web-survey

The main characteristics of the WageIndicator web-survey are as follows

  • The topics of the web-survey relate to wages and working conditions
  • The target population is the labour force, including employees, self-employed, informal workers, job seekers and the unemployed
  • The respondents of the web-survey are volunteers recruited through the national WageIndicator websites and a wide range of websites of WageIndicator partners
  • The web-survey is a non-probability survey and the data therefore biased and not representative of the target population
  • There is a prize incentive for survey completion
  • Trust, fun and privacy are important for the web-survey
  • The web-survey is currently posted in more than 75 countries.
  • The web-survey is multilingual  and to a very large extent similar across countries
  • The web-survey is continuous and generates large sample sizes
  • The survey regularly includes project-specific survey questions for a limited number of countries and a limited period of time
  • Paper-based surveys supplement web-based surveys in countries with low Internet access rates

These points are discussed in detail in section 3 in the Codebook.

The WageIndicator questionnaire

The main characteristics of the WageIndicator questionnaire are as follows

  • The source questionnaire is translated into the languages of the counties with a WageIndicator website
  • The survey consists of core and non-core questions, divided into part 1 and part 2
  • The main routing through the questionnaire depends on the respondent’s employment status
  • The questionnaire has a limited set of required survey questions
  • For the responses, the questionnaire uses radio buttons, check boxes, search trees, drop-down selection lists, and open ended questions
  • The questionnaire uses the ‘don’t know’ option in many survey questions
  • The questionnaire uses search trees for survey questions with a large range of response options, such as occupation or industry and for country-specific survey questions, such as education, region, ethnic group, language spoken at home, name of trade union if member.
  • For a number of search trees, mapping tables are available, for example to the ISCED educational levels or to the degree of urbanisation of the region
  • The web-survey is managed in an Excel database, itself comprised of several related databases

These points are discussed in detail in section 4 in the Codebook. The stylized version of the questionnaire can be downloaded here.

The WageIndicator dataset

The main characteristics of the WageIndicator data are as follows:

  • From 2006 on, the data is organized in annual releases
  • The data of the period 2000-2005 is released as one dataset
  • Each release consists of one dataset with continuous variables and one with project variables
  • The continuous variables can be merged across years
  • The project variables can only be merged across years if the project lasted for more than one year
  • The dataset consists of system-generated variables, continuous variables and project variables
  • All datasets include variable labels and value labels; labels are in English
  • For the country-specific variables (e.g. education), the number of values increases with the number of countries included in the web-survey
  • Therefore, merging annual datasets should be started with the most recent annual release
  • All datasets include META variables for identification of questionnaire version, case identification, survey completion, and date and duration of survey completion
  • Apart from the META data, all variables are numerical and on a nominal or a scale measurement level
  • The dataset does not include the text variables from the open-ended survey questions, these are available in Excel files on request
  • The dataset does not include the time stamps (para-data), these are available in Excel files on request
  • The datasets include the computed variables only, not the source variables; computed variables are written with CAPITAL letters
  • A wide range of missing values is applied for identification of the reason of missing
  • Not all survey questions have been switched on for all countries during all years, this is indicated in the missing values
  • Web-surveys face serious drop-out during survey completion; the datasets from 2006 on include both the complete and incomplete cases; this is indicated with the missing values; the 2000-2005 dataset includes the complete cases only

These points are discussed in detail in section 5 in the Codebook. Appendix 1 in the Codebook identifies the system, continuous and project variables. The list of all continuous variables in the 2000-2009 dataset (sorted alphabetically) can be downloaded here. Appendix 2 in the Codebook includes a list with the number of valid observations for the continuous variables per survey year and per country. For scientific research, the data is distributed through the data archive of IZA (IDSC). You can read about the WageIndicator data policy here. Wage Indicator Data Update notes/ Check here.

The WageIndicator survey concepts

The main concepts underlying the WageIndicator web-survey are:

  • Calendar years, work and family history, and job future
  • The time frame of events and perceptions
  • Employment status, contract and informal labour
  • Working hours
  • Wages and the calculation of hourly wages
  • Bonuses
  • Education (see Education page)
  • Occupations, using ISCO occupation classification (see WISCO page)
  • Job level
  • Blue and white collar workers
  • Supervisory position
  • Employees’ workplace representation
  • Collective bargaining coverage
  • Industry, using NACE industry classification
  • Region (see Region page)
  • Migration and ethnic background (see ethnic groups and languages page)
  • Household characteristics

These points are discussed in detail in section 6 in the Codebook.

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