UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Improving Survey Measurement of Income and Employment, 2001-2003

Title details

SN: 5157
Title: Improving Survey Measurement of Income and Employment, 2001-2003
Alternative title: ISMIE
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-5157-1
Depositor: Jenkins, S.P., University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Principal investigator(s): Jenkins, S.P., University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Lynn, P., University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Data collector(s): NOP Research Group
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: H333250031
Other acknowledgements: Nick Buck, Jon Burton, John Fildes, Heather Laurie, Mike Merrett, and Fran Williams. All work at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, and collaborated in producing the ISMIE dataset.


The citation for this study is:

Jenkins, S.P., Lynn, P. (2005). Improving Survey Measurement of Income and Employment, 2001-2003. [data collection]. 2nd Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 5157,

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Subject Categories

General - Employment and labour
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Social indicators and quality of life - Society and culture


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The Improving Survey Measurement of Income and Employment (ISMIE) survey was undertaken to analyse issues of data validation and dependent interviewing. The end of funding for the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) study in 2001 presented a rare opportunity to collect data for this purpose. The validation exercise had two parts: comparisons of survey reports of social security benefit income with administrative records, and of survey reports of employment characteristics (pay, hours, status, etc.) with employer records. The survey also contained an experiment to test alternative dependent interviewing strategies, and compare them with traditional independent interviewing, in terms of impact on validity and accuracy. The data currently deposited are the household survey and the validation data collected from employers.

The documentation for this study describes the survey design, methodological work and data structure, in so far as it differs from standard practices for the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Dataset users are referred to the BHPS documentation for background information on the ECHP subsample and general survey processes and data characteristics. The BHPS documentation is available from the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) web site.

For the second edition, files 'lincom' and 'lincpay' were re-deposited due to previous double reporting problems, and the user guide was updated accordingly.
Main Topics:
The dataset covers a broader range of thematic areas including household composition, housing conditions, residential mobility, education and training, health, socio-economic values, income from employment, benefits and pensions. Furthermore, detailed information was collected about respondents' economic activities and activity spells since the previous interview.

With regard to the structure of the records, one set contains information at the household level, another set includes information at the individual level, and a third set is organised by substantive contents, for example job spells or income sources. In addition, for the sections subject to the dependent interviewing experiment, there are separate files for each treatment group.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: The reference period is from 1st September 2001 until the time of the interview in spring 2003
Dates of fieldwork: February 2003 - May 2003
Country: Great Britain
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Alpha/numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
All household members aged 16 and above where the household was included in the 2001 ECHP low-income subsample, and employers of respondents.
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
The ISMIE survey is a one-time follow-up to the eight waves of panel data collected for the ECHP.
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
Number of units: Target: Household survey 1,167 individual; Employer survey: 254.
Obtained: Household survey 1,033, Employer survey 181.
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview; Postal survey
Weighting: No weighting used.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 18 May 2005
Latest edition: 24 October 2005 (2nd Edition)
Copyright: Copyright Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
User Guide 5157userguide1.pdf 318
User Guide 5157userguide2.pdf 1124
Index File index.pdf 33
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_5157_Information.htm 20
READ File read5157.htm 11


View publications... Hide publications...

By principal investigator(s):
Lynn, P. and Sala, E. (2004) The contact and response process in business surveys: lessons from a multimode survey of employers in the UK, ISER Working Paper 2004-12 and ESRC RMP Working Paper 10.

Jaeckle, A., et al. (2004) Validation of survey data on income and employment: the ISMIE experience, ISER Working Paper 2004-14 and ESRC RMP Working Paper 11.

Lynn, P., et al. (2004) The effects of dependent interviewing on responses to questions on income sources, ISER Working Paper 2004-16 and ESRC RMP Working Paper 12.

Jenkins, S.P., et al. (2004) Linking survey responses and administrative records: what should the matching variables be?, ISER Working Paper 2004-23 and ESRC RMP Working Paper 13.

Jaeckle, A. (2004) Dependent interviewing and seam effects in work history data, ISER Working Paper 2004-24 and ESRC RMP Working Paper 14.

Sala, E. and Lynn, P. (2004) The effect of dependent interviewing on measures of employment characteristics, ISER Working Paper 2004-26.

Jenkins, S.P., et al. (2004) Patterns of consent: evidence from a general household survey, ISER Working Paper 2004-27.

Lynn, P., et al. (2004) The impact of interviewing method on measurement error in panel survey measures of benefit receipt: evidence from a validation study, ISER Working Paper 2004-28.

Jenkins, S., et al. (2006) 'Patterns of consent: evidence from a general household survey', Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, 169(4), pp.701-722.

ISER working papers may be found online via the ISER Publications and Research webpage.

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