In harmony: Comparison of the European Social Survey and the European Values Study questionnaires

  • Eva Aizpurua (Speaker)
  • Angelica Maineri (Speaker)
  • Rory Fitzgerald (Speaker)
  • Vera Lomazzi (Speaker)
  • Luijkx, R. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific


The European Social Survey (ESS) and the European Values Study (EVS) are large, cross-national social surveys that collect data in most European countries. As part of the ESS-SUSTAIN-2 project, both teams are exploring the possibility of collecting EVS data as part of the ESS infrastructure. The suggested strategy consists of bridging compatible measures when possible and potentially designing a 30-item module measuring EVS core questions to be occasionally fielded in the ESS. This presentation summarises the first step undertaken to assess the feasibility of this proposal, based on the comparison of item characteristics from the source versions of the ESS and EVS questionnaires. After identifying 75 pairs of items covering similar concepts, the items were compared using 17 attributes adapted from the Survey Quality Predictor (SQP) framework. The attributes were organised in four domains: 1) Question attributes (e.g., reference period, part of a battery), 2) Interviewer role (i.e., clarifications and instructions), 3) Response (e.g., number of categories, scale symmetry), and 4) Showcards (i.e., content and layout). The findings from this comparison revealed a high degree of consistency, especially for the socio-demographic variables, which accounted for 55% of the potentially compatible items. For substantive variables, however, there was larger variation. In addition to systematic design differences (e.g., 10- vs 11-points scales), discrepancies related to the stimuli offered to respondents (showcards) and to the number and range of categories were the most frequent mismatches. In-depth examples are used to illustrate the results of this comparison, which was conducted to inform an empirical comparison of the ESS and EVS most recent data (ESS Round 9: 2018/2019 and EVS Wave 5:2017/2018). The findings of this methodological work will be of interest for researchers interested in survey harmonisation and cross-national surveys.
Period2021 → …
Event title2021 Virtual CSDI workshop
Event typeWorkshop