OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

  • Discontinued
This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.


Occupational Classification (ISCO-88)

Concepts, Methods, Reliability, Validity and Cross-National Comparability

This paper considers a range of topics concerned with the statistical application of an occupational classification, focusing in particular upon the use of the international standard, ISCO-88. Following a brief presentation of the conceptual basis of ISCO-88 and on methods of collecting and coding occupational information, evidence is presented on the reliability and validity of occupationally classified data. The paper reviews progress on the implementation of ISCO-88 on a global basis and presents an assessment of the likely comparability between countries of occupational data based upon ISCO-88.

From the evidence available it appears that ISCO-88 has successfully superseded ISCO-68 and, in many countries, has become the model for a new national classification even where a national classification of occupations previously existed.

However, occupational classification remains a difficult process, subject to a fairly low level of reliability. In addition to problems of reliability ...

English Also available in: French

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