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Resources for International Comparative Analysis: The European Social Survey. Caroline Roberts*, Gillian Eva*, Atle Jåstad ~ *Centre for Comparative Social Surveys City University, London ~ NSD, Norway. ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherine's College, Oxford, 02 July 2008.

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Resources for International Comparative Analysis: The European Social Survey

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Resources for International Comparative Analysis:

The European Social Survey

Caroline Roberts*,

Gillian Eva*,

Atle Jåstad~

*Centre for Comparative Social Surveys

City University, London

~NSD, Norway

ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherine's College, Oxford, 02 July 2008

About the ESS

  • Cross-national biennial time-series

  • Academically-driven

  • Multiple funding sources

  • 18,300 registered data users

Three main aims:

  • To produce rigorous trend data about changing social values across Europe

  • To improve the reliability of quantitative cross-national measurement in Europe

  • To advance the cause of social indicators and attitudinal measures

Participating countries

The Questionnaire

Core question topics:

Trust in institutions

Political engagement

Socio-political values

Multi-level governance

Moral & social values

Social exclusion

National, ethnic, religious identity

Well-being, health, security

Rotating Modules

  • Round 1


    Citizenship, engagement and democracy

  • Round 2

    Family, work and well-being

    Economic morality

    Health and care-seeking

  • Round 3

    Timing of the life course

    Subjective well-being

  • Round 4

    Experiences and expressions of ageism

    Welfare attitudes in Europe

Methodological Advances

  • Organisational structure

  • Translation

  • Sampling

  • Fieldwork procedures and timing

  • Response targets and enhancements

  • Progress monitoring

  • Contextual and event data

  • Methodological research

  • Transparency

  • Access for all

ESS Resources

For background information & documentation:

  • ESS home website:

    For ESS data:

  • ESS Data Archive website:

    For training in data analysis:

  • ESS EduNet

ESS Data Archive

  • Free & immediate access; quick registration

  • Data & documentation organised by round

    • Survey documentation: including information about sampling, weighting and population statistics

    • Fieldwork documents: questionnaires; showcards, etc.

    • Fieldwork summary: response rates, fieldwork dates, sample size, and national deviations

    • Data download: integrated & country files

    • Contextual data & indices: including macro & event data

  • Cumulative data file now available for rounds 1-3

  • Online-browsing & analysis using ‘Nesstar Webview’

  • ESS Bibliography

  • ESS ‘EduNet’

Other resources: NESSTAR


  • Online browsing and analysis

  • For use with the full ESS datasets or the specially prepared ESS EduNet data

  • Options:

    1. Description: of study, datafile, variables, etc.

    2. Table: create frequency tables and crosstabs

    3. Analysis: perform regression analysis



NESSTAR: example table

Other resources: ESS Bibliography

ESS Bibliography

  • Provides information about publications based on the European Social Survey

  • Can search by author, keyword, year, country, publication type…

  • Authors submit information about their own publication

ESS Bibliography: search page

Other resources: ESS EduNet

  • Internet-based analysis training programme aimed at facilitating and enriching access to empirical data in the social sciences

  • The resource is developed for use in higher education

  • A hands on introduction to social science data analysis

  • Combining theory, data and methodology

  • Connect text (written by distinguished researchers) with data (high quality ESS data)


Social and Political Trust (using ESS round 1 data): Ken Newton 2 theories of the origin of social trust, outlines the relationship between political and social trustHuman Values (using ESS round 1 data): Shalom Schwartz Schwartz’s theory on human values, shows how values can be used as both dependent and independent variablesRegression (using ESS round 2 data): Odd Gåsdal ‘Hands on’ introduction to analysing cross-sectional survey data using linear regression methodsFamily, Gender and Work (using ESS round 2 data): Noah Lewin-Epstein and Haya Stier Different ways in which survey data are used in comparative research, uses these to examine the family-work connection

Topics: chapter navigation

  • Each topic is divided into several chapters

  • Each chapter is again divided into several short pages

  • Each chapter contains exercises of varying degrees of difficulty

  • Chapters take around 1 hour to complete


Statistical Data

  • Extracts from the ESS rounds 1 and 2 and a data set with country level information

  • Available for online analysis in Nesstar WebView (with correlation)

  • Or to download in different formats

    Methodological glossary

  • Short description of some key concepts. Each concept is followed by a link to Wikipedia and an online statistical textbook

Other resources


  • Short description of the ESS project and ESS EduNet

User guide

  • Help pages on technical requirements, NSDstat, weighting, etc.

  • An introduction on how to analyse data online - a useful starting point for those with no experience in statistical analysis

Advantages of ESS EduNet

Closeness to data

Easy to use

Research practice

Any Questions?

[email protected]

Thank you!

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