Course 5: Cross-national surveys

Course material

Course program


Dr Ineke Stoop (The Netherlands)


When comparing survey outcomes across countries one can easily draw erroneous conclusions because cross-national differences in administration modes and response rates, small errors in translation or varying answer scales can have a large impact on survey outcomes. The course aims to provide an introduction to the main issues raised by using cross-national surveys, present different models for harmonisation and focus on the elusive concept of optimal comparability. Methodological choices that can influences survey outcomes, and methodological variation that can influence comparability will be discussed in greater detail. A series of cross-national surveys will be presented but the focus will be on the European Social Survey, partly because of the extensive documentation of methodology and implementation.

The course will be relevant for those who use cross-national surveys, those who want to compare survey data from different countries and those who are designing a cross-national survey. Research articles and a power-point handout will be provided to all participants.

Ineke Stoop is head of the Department of Data Services and IT, The Netherlands Institute for Social Research/SCP. She obtained her Ph.D. at Utrecht University for a thesis on survey nonresponse. She is a member of the European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC) and of the Central Coordinating Team of the European Social Survey. Ms Stoop is co-founder of the Dutch Platform for Survey Research and Laureate of the 2005 Descartes Prize for Excellence in Scientific Collaborative Research. Het main research interests are comparative social surveys and nonresponse. She has taught courses on comparative surveys and nonresponse as part of the ECPR summer school, as ESS training courses, and in The Netherlands, and recently co-authored a book on nonresponse in the European Social Survey.