Working papers

Over time CCSR (The Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research) and ISC (Institute for Social Change) have produced numerous working papers which are listed by year via the links below:

2021 working papers

CMI working paper 2021-01: Wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: a secondary data analysis - Jen Murphy, Mark Elliot.

In March 2020 in response to the COVID pandemic, the UK government declared a national lockdown where citizens were required to stay at home. The impact of this lockdown on levels of well-being has been a source of concern for citizens and mental health professionals.

We investigated the trajectory of well-being over the course of the first wave and sought to determine whether the change in well-being is distributed equally across the population. Specifically, we investigated pre-existing medical conditions, social isolation, financial stress and deprivation as a predictor for well-being and whether there were community-level characteristics which protect against poorer well-being.

CMI working paper 2021-02: Provenance, Anonymisation and Data Environments: a Unifying Construction - Muhammad Aslam Jarwar, Adriane Chapman, Mark Elliot, Fatemeh Raji

The Anonymisation Decision-making Framework (ADF) operationalizes the risk management of data exchange between organizations, referred to as "data environments". The second edition of ADF has increased its emphasis on modeling data flows, highlighting a potential new use of provenance information to support anonymisation decisionmaking.

In this paper, we provide a use case that showcases this functionality more. Based on this use case, we identify how provenance information could be utilized within the ADF framework, and identify a currently un-met requirement which is the modeling of data environments. We show how data environments can be implemented within the W3C PROV in four different ways. We analyze the costs and benefits of each approach, and consider another use case as a partial check for completeness. We then summarize our findings and suggest ways forward.

2020 working papers

CMI working paper 2020-01: Multiple Linear Regression (2nd Edition)Mark Tranmer, Jen Murphy, Mark Elliot, Maria Pampaka.

CMI working paper 2020-02Compensating for Non-response in Biosocial Research: Simulation Study from a Cross-sectional Analysis - Tina Hannemann, Natalie Shlomo, Tarani Chandola, Georgia Chatzi.

2019 working papers

2019 working papers coming soon.

2018 working papers

CMI working paper 2018-01: How can we Measure Paternal Involvement? A Test of the Millennium Cohort Study - Laura Watt

Measuring paternal involvement in childcare is becoming increasingly important due to its centrality in sociological and political debates. However, defining the term ‘paternal involvement’ is complicated as it comprises multiple dimensions within cognitive, emotional and behavioural domains. Measuring paternal involvement, therefore, is not straightforward, meaning studies of it tend to be qualitative. However, using data from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) – a longitudinal study of children born in Britain around 2000- Norman and Elliot (2015, paper in preparation) created a quantitative measure of paternal involvement. Using factor analysis on data from five sweeps of the MCS, Norman and Elliot created five composite measures of paternal involvement – each related to one sweep of the MCS, or age of the child sampled (child at 9 months, 3, 5, 7 and 11 years). This paper tests the validity of Norman and Elliot’s measure by conducting qualitative experiments and interviews with 33 fathers from the North West.  In the experiment, participants grouped each of the MCS child-care variables into categories they regarded as useful, to explore the conceptual validity of Norman and Elliot’s scales. Participants were then asked what was missing from the MCS variables if to be used as a measure of paternal involvement, and how they would define the term. Results from this research validate Norman and Elliot’s measure as a measure of paternal engagement rather than paternal involvement – defining engagement as just one dimension of involvement. Indeed, the results show that many important aspects of paternal involvement (including emotional care, feelings of commitment and responsibility, and teaching) are not included in the MCS variables meaning they do not measure involvement entirely.

CMI working paper 2018-02: Assessing the Spatial EBLUP in small area estimation: A simulation study and an application to confidence in police work - David Buil-Gil, Angelo Moretti, Natalie Shlomo and Juanjo Medina

The use of spatially correlated random area effects is increasingly in use in small area estimation field. The spatial Empirical Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (SEBLUP), which borrows strength from correlated random area effects between neighbouring areas, have shown to reduce the estimates’ variance and bias, both under simulated and real population studies. However, little attention has received the study of the effect of the number of areas under study, on SEBLUP performance. This paper assesses the effect of and the spatial correlation parameter, on SEBLUP performance, in terms of bias and mean squared error. A simulation study and an application to confidence in police work in Europe are conducted. Our results show that SEBLUP estimator tends to perform better than traditional model-based estimators not only when the spatial correlation parameter is closer to 1 and -1, but also when is larger. Such results suggest that SEBLUP estimator is an appropriate method to be used when the level of spatial correlation of the variable of interest is high and/or when the number of areas under study is large. From a substantive perspective, the results of our application show that confidence in police work is higher in most Northern and Central European regions, while lower proportions of citizens who think the police do a good or very good job are estimated in Southern and Eastern regions. Also, the homicide rate, mean age and Human Development Index are shown to be good predictors of confidence in police work.

CMI working paper 2018-03: Improving record linkage via the application of Occam's razor - Duncan Smith and Mark Elliot

Probabilistic record linkage is used to identify records in distinct datasets that correspond to the same entities.  Classical probabilistic record linkage only considers the information contained in the variables common to two datasets A and B.  Information contained in the variables that appear only in A or only in B is ignored.  In recent years attempts have been made to exploit this information.

Approaches have either been ad hoc or have been computationally expensive Markov Chain Monte-Carlo approaches that (to some degree) have moved away from the classical approach.  Here we present a theoretically grounded approach that is an extension of the classical approach. The motivating idea is to improve record linkage by indirectly applying Occam's razor by requiring a set of chosen links to be consistent with a parsimonious generating process.  Other approaches have been motivated by goals of improving the estimation of model parameters or accounting for matching constraints.  Although our goal is different, we show (as others have before) that linkage performance can be improved by combining the record linkage procedure with statistical modelling.

CMI working paper 2018-04: Outliers and influential observations in exponential random graph models - Johan Koskinen, Peng Wang, Garry Robins and Philippa Pattison

We discuss measuring and detecting influential observations and outliers in the context of exponential family random graph (ERG) models for social networks.  We focus on the level of the nodes of the network and consider those nodes whose removal result in changes to the model as extreme or "central" with respect to the structural features that "matter".  We construe removal in terms of two case deletion strategies: the tie-variables of an actor are assumed to be unobserved or the node is removed resulting in the induced subgraph.  We define the difference in inferred model resulting from case deletion from the perspective of information theory and difference in estimates, both in the natural and mean value parameterisation, representing varying degrees of approximation.  We arrive at several measures of influences and propose the use of two that do not require refitting of the model and lend themselves to routine application in the ERGM fitting procedure.  MCMC p-values are obtained for testing how extreme each node is with respect to the network structure.  The influence measures are applied to two well-known data sets to illustrate the information they provide.  From a network perspective, the proposed statistics offer an indication of which actors are most distinctive in the network structure, in terms of not abiding by the structural norms present across other actors.

CMI working paper 2018-05: A Bayesian Estimation of Child Labour in India - Jihye Kim, Wendy Olsen and Arkadiusz Wisniowski

Child labour in India involves the largest number of children in the world. In 2011, this number was estimated to be 11.7 million children aged between 5 and 17 according to the latest Indian Census. However, this number seems underestimated due to the narrow definition of child labour used by the Census because it excludes children participating in household activities. Considering the widespread use of child labour in the domestic sector in India, this study suggests extending the definition of child labour taking into account the amount of time spent working at home. How to measure the prevalence of child labour varies according to pergent opinions across international agencies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). In this study, we use the ILO’s methodology to define hazardousness of work and UNICEF’s time threshold for domestic work. The specific aims of this study are to estimate the prevalence of child labour in the age group 5 to 17 and to suggest a combined-data approach using a Bayesian method to improve the estimation of child labour. This study uses the most recent National Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment and the India Human Development Survey, comparing and combining them with the reported figure of child labour from the Indian Census. The combined-data approach provides a way to improve accuracy and potentially reduce measurement error. This method also smooths the variation between ages and provides more reliable estimates of child labourers.

CMI working paper 2018-06: Attitudes to Legal Authority in Adulthood: inter-individual differences and intra-individual stability - Gabriella Melis, Nick Shryane, Mark Elliot and Maria Pampaka

This paper considers whether and how attitudes towards legal authority change over time in the British adult population. We apply latent trajectory and autoregressive models using the 1996, 2000 and 2012 sweeps of the British Cohort Study of 1970; after controlling for gender, education, occupational social class, interest in politics and religion, we found that from the age of 26 to the age of 42, the cohort becomes more liberal regarding obedience to the law, the death penalty and stiffer sentencing, but more authoritarian regarding censorship; moreover, inpidual-level characteristics are associated with inter-inpidual differences over time, in particular: as occupational social class and level of education increase, attitudes tend to be more liberal; interest in politics is positively associated with less authoritarian attitudes; those who define themselves as non-religious tend to be more liberal; the effect of gender varies by attitude: females are more authoritarian towards censorship, but more liberal regarding capital punishment and stiffer sentencing. The analyses reported here give support at the micro level to the hypotheses of relative consistency and stability of attitudes to legal authority, as well providing evidence for important social cleavages.

CMI working paper 2018-07: A Probabilistic Procedure for Anonymisation and Analysis of Perturbed Datasets - Harvey Goldstein and Natalie Shlomo

The requirement to anonymise datasets that are to be released for secondary analysis needs to be balanced by the need to allow their analysis to provide efficient and consistent parameter estimates. The proposal in the present paper is to use the addition of random noise to some or all variables in a released (already pseudonymised) data set where the values of some identifying variables for inpiduals of interest are also available to an external ‘attacker’ who wishes to identify those inpiduals so that they can interrogate their records in the dataset. To avoid such identification enough noise needs to be generated and added to these identifying variables.   The noise so generated then needs to be accounted for  at the analysis stage to provide required parameter estimates. Where the characteristics of the noise are made available to the analyst by the agency providing the data, we propose a method that allows a valid analysis.  This is formally a measurement error model and there exist procedures for model fitting that recovers consistent estimates of the true model parameters. The paper shows how an appropriate noise distribution can be determined and at the analysis stage describes a Bayesian MCMC algorithm that allows for noise removal.

CMI working paper 2018-08: Comparison of Post-tabular Confidentiality Approaches for Survey Weighted Frequency Tables - Natalie Shlomo, Thomas Krenzke and Jianzhu Li

One of the most common forms of data release by National Statistical Institutes  (NSIs) are frequency tables arising from censuses and surveys and these have been the focus of statistical disclosure limitation (SDL) techniques for decades. With the need to modernize dissemination strategies, NSIs are considering web-based flexible table builders where users can generate their own tables of interest without the need for human intervention. This has caused a shift in the types of disclosure risks of concern under the SDL approaches and a move towards perturbative methods with more formal privacy guarantees for confidentiality protection. We examine three post-tabular confidentiality protection methods to be used in a flexible table builder for generating survey weighted frequency tables: the computer science approach of differential privacy and two SDL approaches of post-randomization and   a new technique called drop/add-up-to-q. We demonstrate and compare their application in a simulation study.

CMI working paper 2018-09: The shelf life of sub-national population forecasts in England - Ludi Simpson, Tom Wilson and Fiona Shalley

We measure the empirical distribution of the accuracy of projected population in sub-national areas of England, developing the concept of ‘shelf life’: the furthest horizon for which the true population remains within 10% of the forecast, for at least 80% of areas projected.

Since local government reorganisation in 1974, the official statistics agency has projected the population of each local government area in England: for 108 areas in nine forecasts up to the 1993-based, and for over 300 areas in 10 forecasts from the 1996-based to the 2014-based forecasts. By comparing the published forecast (we use this term rather than projection) with the post-census population estimates, the empirical distribution of errors has been described. It is particularly dependent on the forecast horizon and the type of local authority. For 10-year forecasts the median absolute percentage error has been 7% for London Boroughs and 3% for Shire Districts.

Users of forecasts tend to have in mind a horizon and a required accuracy that is of relevance to their application. A shelf life of 10 years is not sufficient if the user required that accuracy of a forecast 15 years ahead. The relevant effective shelf life deducts the user’s horizon. We explore the empirical performance of official sub-national forecasts in this light. A five-year forecast for London Boroughs requiring 10% accuracy is already beyond its effective shelf life by the time it is published.

Collaboration between forecasters and users of forecasts can develop information on uncertainty that is useful to planning.

CMI working paper 2018-10: Multivariate Small Area Estimation of Multidimensional Latent Economic Wellbeing Indicators - Angelo Moretti, Natalie Shlomo and Joseph W. Sakshaug

Factor analysis (FA) models are used in data dimensionality reduction problems where the variability among observed variables can be described through a smaller number of unobserved latent variables. This approach is often used to estimate the multidimensionality of wellbeing. We employ FA models and use multivariate EBLUP (MEBLUP) to predict a vector of means of factor scores representing wellbeing for small areas. We compare this approach to the standard approach whereby we use SAE (univariate and multivariate) to estimate a dashboard of EBLUPs on original variables and then averaged. Our simulation study shows that the use of factor scores provides estimates with lower variability than weighted and simple averages of standardised MEBLUPs and univariate EBLUPs. Moreover, we find that when the correlation in the observed data is taken into account before small area estimates are computed multivariate modelling does not provide large improvements in the precision of the estimates over the univariate modelling. We close with an application using the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions data.

2017 working papers

CMI working paper 2017-01: Multilevel modelling approach to analysing life course socioeconomic status and compensating for missingness - Adrian Byrne, Natalie Shlomo and Tarani Chandola

This paper investigates the heterogeneity between individuals in relation to a finely-grained measure of socioeconomic status over the life course.  We examine the extent to which parental socioeconomic status can explain this life course socioeconomic status heterogeneity between individuals using 1958 National Child Development Study data.  This empirical study shows how substantial between-individual variation in life course socioeconomic status is suitably captured by a step function multilevel model.  Our results highlight the significant contribution of parental socioeconomic status in explaining the divergence in achieved socioeconomic status over the life course.  We also explore the issue of missing data in relation to our model of interest and show evidence of missing at random when including sex and region of residence as model covariates.

CMI working paper 2017-02: Small Area Estimation of Latent Economic Wellbeing - Angelo Moretti, Natalie Shlomo and Joseph Sakshaug

Small area estimation (SAE) plays a crucial role in the social sciences due to the growing need for reliable and accurate estimates for small domains. In the study of wellbeing, for example, policy-makers need detailed information about the geographical distribution of a range of social indicators. We investigate data dimensionality reduction using factor analysis models and implement SAE on the factor scores under the empirical best linear unbiased prediction approach. We contrast this approach with the standard approach of providing a dashboard of indicators, or a weighted average of indicators at the local level. We demonstrate the approach in a simulation study and a real application based on the European Union Statistics for Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for the municipalities of Tuscany.

CMI working paper 2017-03: Challenges in Genomic Privacy: An Analysis of Surname Attacks in the Population of Britain - Sahel Shariati Samani, Mark Elliot and Andrew Brass

In 2013, Gymrek et al. reported that personal genomes can be re-identified through surname inference using patrilineal information inherent in the Y chromosome. They highlighted that the attack is based on freely available resources. This finding has raised significant concerns about the privacy of participants in genomic studies and genomic privacy in general. However, the findings are much less clear cut than the high profile nature of the paper might suggest and the experiments reported in the paper are somewhat ad hoc. Therefore, a more thorough analysis of the risk of privacy breaches of genomic data through surname inference is desirable. The current paper analyses this risk in the British population.

2016 working papers

CMI working paper 2016-03: Normalisation of the Protester or Inequalities in Protest Participation? - Natalie Shlomo and Clare Saunders

Inequalities in protest participation are thought to be shrinking as protest normalizes. In other words, it is considered that there has been a normalization of the protester. However, extant evidence only looks at a binomial (yes/no) response to participation in street demonstrations. Here, we look for the first time at the extent to which those who protest to different degrees (novices, the middle group and stalwarts) represent the non-protesting public. We combine random samples of non-protesters from the European Social Survey of (UK) with non-random samples of demonstrators from protest surveys (Caught in the Act of Protest) using two methods: a) proportional weighting of the sample with benchmarks and b) propensity score stratification sample matching with benchmarks. Propensity score stratification provides the most balanced combined sample of Caught in the Act of Protest protesters and European Social Survey non-protesters. After making necessary sample adjustments, we find that protesters become increasingly differentiated from non-protesters as their extent of protest participation increases.

CMI working paper 2016-02: Re-identification in the absence of common matching variables - Duncan Smith 

A basic concern in statistical disclosure control is the re-identification of individuals via record linkage. A record containing identifying information in file A is linked to a record containing sensitive information in file B, resulting in a breach of confidentiality. The classical approach to record linkage exploits the data in fields that are common to files A and B. A more recent approach has attempted record linkage in the absence of common fields via the extraction of structural information using ordered weighted averaging (OWA) operators. Although this can be shown to perform better than a random matching strategy, it is debatable whether it demonstrates a significant disclosure risk. This paper shows that a relatively simple Bayesian approach can consistently outperform OWA linkage. Furthermore, it can demonstrate a significant risk of re-identification for the types of data release considered in the OWA record linkage literature (where there exists a 1 to 1 correspondence between the records in A and the records in B). The Bayesian approach flows from the same underlying theory as classical record linkage, offering the possibility of using it to improve record linkage performance in more general settings.

CMI working paper 2016-01: Integrated local demographic forecasts constrained by the supply of housing or jobs: practice in the UK - Ludi Simpson

Demographic forecasting models that integrate population, housing and jobs aim to help planning in two ways. First, the models describe the future needs of the population, with a range of scenarios reflecting the continuation of recent experience and uncertainty about which assumptions best reflect that experience. These models apply the standard mathematics of demographic cohorts and their change through births, deaths and migration, and of derived forecasts which apply age-sex specific household headship rates and economic activity rates to the future population. Second, the models are extended to calculate the impact of planned developments that will change the population by attracting or deterring people at a different rate from recent experience.

This paper focuses on the need for both types of forecast scenario in the context of local development plans which are required throughout the UK. It provides the mathematics to calculate migration in a forecast which has imposed a constraint or target future number of jobs or housing units. These balancing models, are known as dwelling-led or housing-led forecasts in the UK, and are commonly used in the planning industry though seldom documented. The paper includes an example application and discusses further developments.

2015 working papers

CMI working paper 2015-05: Deriving a measure of gender role attitudes using data from the European Values Study - Claire Shepherd and Mark Elliot

Gender role attitudes inform sociological debates concerning gender inequalities, women’s position in the labour market, declining fertility rates and family breakdown, and naturally feed into the discourse surrounding welfare state and policy decision making. As such developing an appropriate measure of gender role attitudes would be useful to explore how attitudes have changed over time and enable further analyses to contribute to our understanding of the above debates.

Using data from three waves of the European Values Study (EVS) two data classification techniques are implemented to derive a measure of gender role attitudes comprised of three components: ‘Maternal employment’, ‘Job fulfilment’ and ‘Economic independence’. It is determined that the interpretation of the derived measure is sufficiently stable over time and across the selected 19 European countries to be used as a valid measure of gender role attitudes to assess their change over time and enable wider contributions to be drawn from further analyses.

CMI working paper 2015-04: National and local labour force projections for the UK - Ludi Simpson

Labour force forecasts are required by local planning, legally guided in the UK by regulations on land use. Methods of forecasting the labour force, and data available for UK practice, are reviewed here. A best strategy for sub-national forecasts of the labour supply is found empirically to involve an accurate national forecast with a local starting point. Key trends are the decreasing economic activity of young adults, the increasing activity of older adults, and the impact of changing state pension age. However, there exists neither an acceptable national forecast of economic activity, nor a standard approach to local forecasts. Software for implementation of sub-national forecasts is described, and six types of scenarios listed to aid local planning, which reflect uncertainty about current trends and the impact of changes in policy. Research and development of forecasting local labour force is urgently needed.

CMI working paper 2015-03: What makes a well-integrated immigrant - Sobolewska, Galandini and Lessard-Phillips

We all want well integrated immigrants. Yet, we rarely ask what this may mean, instead assessing integration successes or failure against arbitrary criteria. We asked the public of the host countries what kind of integration they want and which aspects of integration are more important than others.

Using a survey-embedded conjoint experiment in the Netherlands and the UK, we show a stable hierarchy of preference of integration outcomes, with immigrant agency dimensions of integration dominating other understandings of integration.

This hierarchy is a matter of wide spread consensus among different social groups and people with different ideologies and views on immigration. We also find that the public opinion on integration is divergent from opinion on immigration restrictions.

While the public focuses on occupations and economic contribution in deciding what kinds of immigrants their country should welcome, these attributes are not seen as helpful in achieving integration success.

CMI working paper 2015-02: Functional Anonymisation and the Role of the Data Environment in Determining the Classification of Data as (Non)Personal

This paper focuses on the extent to which the environment within which data exist (their data environment) can make data – which would otherwise be deemed personal – non-personal; this distinction being central to much data protection and privacy law globally.  Such an environment would necessarily ensure that the elements required to re-identify the data will not be present or, conversely, that the features of the environment are sufficient to prevent such re-identification.

CMI working paper 2015-01: Intergenerational Obligations: The paradox for left-behind boys by migration in rural China - Nan Zhang

This article draws on in-depth interviews with caregivers of left-behind children (LBC) in rural China, to explore their understanding of migration motives and the social process of taking on caregiving roles for LBC. The authors argue there are underlying socio-cultural explanations pertaining to economic motives for migration, for example, making contributions for social events (weddings and funerals) in village life, and fulfilling social obligations for left-behind sons’ futures.

This suggests a paradox of intergenerational obligations for boys in a society in which sons are culturally more valued than daughters. This is because parents migrate to save for sons’ but not daughters’ adult lives. Grandparents, particularly on the paternal side, are expected to fulfil social obligations to care for left-behind grandchildren even without immediate financial returns.

2014 working papers

CCSR Paper 2014-9: Individual belonging to neighbourhoods and interaction with neighbours. Age related effects or generational change? - Brian Kelly

Structural processes associated with modernity, globalisation and individualisation may be reshaping, potentially weakening, the relationships that exist between individuals and local neighbourhoods. Empirical studies generally report that older individuals have higher levels of belonging to neighbourhoods and a greater likelihood of talking to neighbours.

However, these studies are predominantly cross-sectional, and so cannot determine whether observed age differences reflect changes that occur within individuals over time, or changes that occur between successive generations. This paper looks to test for the existence of generational change, using data from the British Household Panel Survey, for England, between1998 and 2008, and employing longitudinal growth trajectory models.

The findings suggest that there has been a decline in the likelihood of talking to neighbours between successive generations; and that the magnitude of generational change is greater for higher income groups. In contrast, there are no generational differences for individual levels of belonging to neighbourhoods; belonging increases within individuals as they get older.

Therefore, cross-sectional studies should be careful when making inference about observed age differences in outcomes measuring aspects of individual relationships with neighbourhoods and others in the neighbourhood. Further work, particularly longitudinal analysis that engages with theories about structural processes and generational change, would be useful.

CCSR Paper 2014-8: Well-being During Recession in the UK - David Bayliss, Wendy Olsen and Pierre Walthery

It has been claimed that the well-being of people in the UK remained stable during the current economic crisis. Such claims are perhaps counterintuitive given the severity of the recession. The narrative of well-being that accompanies such major events is important at a time when governments are taking non-GDP measures of well-being more seriously than before. 

Claims that this recession has not significantly altered people’s well-being could be taken to suggest that such economic crises are not of concern from a human welfare perspective. Here we critique the conceptualisation and operationalisation of well-being as synonymous with subjective well-being (SWB). Taking a realist perspective to study change over time in well-being, we argue that a multidimensional understanding of well-being provides a valid approach for evaluating the impact of the economic crisis. To test this claim, the simple evaluative measure of SWB as life satisfaction is compared to a more objective
measure of well-being. Six years of panel data for the UK working-age population are used to estimate change in individual well-being from the pre-recession ‘boom’ into the recessionary ‘bust’. Results confirm a decline in the more objective dimension of well-being.

CCSR Paper 2014-07: Adaptive Survey Design - Barry Schouten, Natalie Shlomo

Recent survey literature shows an increasing interest in survey designs that adapt data collection to characteristics of the survey target population.
Given a specified quality objective function, the designs attempt to find an optimal balance between quality and costs. Finding the optimal balance may not be straightforward as corresponding optimization problems are often highly non-linear and non-convex.

In this paper, we discuss how to choose strata in such designs and how to allocate these strata in a sequential design with two phases. We use partial R-indicators to build profiles of the data units where more or less attention is required in the data collection.

In allocating cases, we look at two extremes: surveys that are run only once, or infrequent, and surveys that are run continuously. We demonstrate the impact of the sample size in a simulation
study and provide an application to a real survey, the Dutch Crime Victimisation Survey.

CCSR Paper 2014-06: The Structure of British Attitudes Towards Climate Change - Rebecca Rhead, Mark Elliot, Paul Upham

Understanding the structure and composition of environmental concern is crucial to the study of society's engagement with environmental problems. Past research has typically served to test, apply or extend value-belief-norm (VBN) theory: a theoretical model which proposes that attitudes are derived from the values placed on the self, others or nature. The VBN has been so influential that one might say that it has become almost paradigmatic in the way that it has shaped research designs. Here, we focus on testing the VBN rather than developing it, using a combination of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis applied to a representative UK dataset designed without a priori commitment to a theoretical model. A three-factor model was confirmed to be the most substantively and methodologically optimal.

The most noteworthy component is a factor consisting of high loadings from both pro and anti-environmental statements, suggesting a paradoxical form of environmental concern. Nonetheless, the overall three-factor model does broadly align with the VBN model, allowing for complex environmental attitudes to be derived from the pre-defined value orientation. We conclude by affirming the VBN paradigm, with some reservations.

CCSR Paper 2014-05: The stability of ethnic group and religion in the Censuses of England and Wales 2001-2011 - Simpson, Jivraj, Warren

When a change in a population is recorded, for example a decrease in long-term limiting illness of the Caribbean group, or an increase in the part-time employment of Bangladeshi men, these comparisons are fair and accurate as descriptions of how the group is different at two points in time. This report digs a little deeper and asks the extent to which such change can occur because an ethnic group or religious group is made up of different people, rather than the same people having changed their characteristics.

CCSR Paper 2014-04: GM cotton and suicide rates for Indian farmers - Ian Plewis

The arguments for and against genetically modified (GM) crops are spread across the academic literature and in the media. This paper focuses on one of these disputes: has the introduction of GM cotton in India led, as some have claimed, to an increase in the suicide rate for Indian farmers? Evidence on the numbers of suicides and the numbers of farmers is assembled from several sources, by state and over time for both male and female farmers. This evidence is, faute de mieux, at an aggregate level. The short time series are modelled to test whether there is any evidence of a break in the series that corresponds to the adoption of GM cotton. The analysis reveals considerable variation in trends in suicide rates across the nine cotton-growing states. The data, although not ideal, and the modelling do not, however, support the claim that GM cotton has led to an increase in farmer suicide rates: if anything the reverse is true.

Data: IS_corrfactor IS_cottonyield NONFARMSUI INDIANSUICIDES_SIG

CCSR Paper 2014-03: Social Theory or Attitudinal Types: A Case Study of Attitudes Towards Relationships - Laura Watt and Mark Elliot

Abstract Sociological theories can be viewed as models of (sub)-populations. In this paper we explore the possibility of representing social theories as attitudinal types rather than as descriptions of society at large. To test this idea we investigate the relevance of four different theories of couple relationships to the attitudes of 18 to 30 year olds. Rather than testing these theories via aggregate social trends, we investigate the plausibility of treating the four social theories as attitudinal types that can be used to distinguish between the thoughts and feelings of different young adults. A self-completion attitude measure is created and used to gather data from a sample of 18 to 30 year olds living in Preston, UK (n=306). Cluster analysis is then used to identify potential attitude types from among the respondents which are discussed in relation to the four theories. Keywords: Relationships, Attitudes, Couples, Intimacy, Individualisation, Confluent Love.

CCSR Paper 2014-02: Comparison of Perturbation Approaches for Spatial Outliers in Microdata - Natalie Shlomo and Jordi Marés

Abstract: We describe an evaluation study to compare statistical disclosure limitation methods for spatial outliers in microdata. The test dataset for this evaluation study is based on the transportation products of the 2006-2008 combined PUMS from the American Community Survey (ACS) of the United States. The spatial variables are trajectories defined as vectors of coordinates where the first component is the coordinate of place of residence (origin) and the second component is the coordinate of workplace (destination). Variables based on geographical spatial coordinates are particularly prone to disclosure risks since they can easily be visualized when disseminating statistical information through the use of maps. The first stage of the study is an outlier detection algorithm, which accounts for multivariate data and is robust to deviations from normality assumptions. Once outliers are identified, the second stage of the study is to recommend a targeted disclosure limitation method to confidentialise the outliers. We compare the perturbative methods of record swapping and hot-deck with respect to disclosure risk and data utility. Keywords: disclosure risk, data utility, mahalanobis distance, record swapping, hot-deck.

2013 working papers

CCSR working papers

CCSR Paper 2013-12: Entropy Balancing: A maximum-entropy reweighting scheme to adjust for coverage error - Samantha Watson and Mark Elliot

Abstract: Propensity score adjustment is gaining prominence within social science and epidemiology as a means to diagnose and adjust for selection bias in non-probabilistically selected samples. As its application has proliferated, so too has awareness of its shortcomings. Hainmueller has recently proposed an alternative method 'entropy balancing' which builds upon the propensity score method while addressing its limitations. Here we extend this innovative reweighting procedure and demonstrate its application through an example using the Young Lives Project survey for rural Andhra Pradesh, South India. We summarise the potential of this procedure to contribute to robust survey-based research more widely. Key words: causal inference, coverage error, design based inference, entropy balance, propensity score adjustment. 

CCSR Paper 2013-11: Probing causation: socialising in later life and perception of - Alan Marshall and Michael Plank

Abstract We use an agent-based model to probe the relationship between older people's perceptions of area and frequency of socialising. Maintaining a social life is a key determinant of healthy ageing and frequency of socialising is associated with perception of area. However, the direction of causality is unclear. Are those who are socially active more likely as a result to view their area more favourably? Or do the most positively evaluated areas facilitate greater frequency of social interactions? Traditional regression models are ill equipped to probe the direction of causality. Alternative techniques, such as agent-based models, are used infrequently and, in response, we develop a simple agent-based model to explore the drivers of the association between area perception and socialising. We consider various scenarios and use data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing to benchmark our findings. Our agent-based models suggest that both causal processes are plausible but a synergy of both is the most likely. We detail an agent-based model as a future foundation for more interactive work on neighbourhood health effects.

CCSR Paper 2013-10: Lost in space? Regional differences in the employment transitions of mothers - Pierre Walthery

This paper explores regional differences in the involvement in paid work of mothers of children under 6 in the UK. It has two aims: firstly, to investigate the extent of sub-national heterogeneity in the transitions occurring during the initial years of motherhood, since previously this heterogeneity has mainly been analysed at the national level. Secondly, this paper quantifies the relative contribution of composition effects, regional labour market characteristics and gender-roles attitudes in explaining contrasts in transitions between 'worklessness' and full-time, standard part-time and marginal part-time work. Based on latent growth modelling of longitudinal Labour Force Survey data, the results highlight significant differences in trajectories between regions and show that regional differences can only be adequately explained by combining these three layers of explanations. This has consequences for the literature in both economics and sociology: multidisciplinary approaches should be encouraged together with more emphasis on the spatial dimension of economic behaviour.

CCSR Paper 2013-08: The process of socio-economic constraint on geographical mobility: England 1991 to 2008 - Brian Kelly

This paper suggests that the process of socio-economic constraint should be of central concern in studies of geographical mobility. A theoretical framework is advanced which situates this process within a life course perspective, recognising both the fluid, dynamic nature of local place and the role that social structures play in the creation of individual and spatial inequalities. Within this theoretical framework constraint is considered as the process that links individual and spatial inequalities. This paper aims to examine this process of spatial socio-economic constraint and to test the hypotheses that individuals with low income are more likely to be geographically constrained and are more likely to be constrained to areas of higher material deprivation. The analysis employs multilevel models and uses longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey, combined with aggregate ward level Census data. The findings provide evidence in support of the hypotheses and for the existence of a process of socio-economic constraint. The main conclusion is that an understanding of the process of constraint should be central to theoretical and empirical studies of geographic mobility.

CCSR Paper 2013-07: Measuring Disclosure Risk and Data Utility for Flexible Table Generators - Natalie Shlomo, Laszlo Antal and Mark Elliot

Statistical agencies are considering making more use of the internet to disseminate census tabular outputs through on-line flexible table generating servers that allow users to define and generate their own tables. The key questions in the development of these servers are what data should be used to generate the tables and what statistical disclosure control (SDC) method should be applied. For flexible table generating, the server has to measure the disclosure risk in the table, apply the SDC method and then reassess the disclosure risk. SDC methods may be applied either to the underlying data used to generate the tables and/or to the final output table generated from original data. Besides disclosure risk, the server should provide measures of information loss comparing the perturbed table to the original table. In this paper, we examine the development of a flexible table generating server and compare different SDC methods. We propose measures for disclosure risk and data utility that are based on Information Theory. 

CCSR Paper 2013-06: The spatial segregation of poverty is associated with higher mortality in Porto Alegre, Brazil - Sergio Bassanesi, Michael Marmot, Brian Kelly, Tarani Chandola

Abstract Background: The link between poverty and poor health outcomes is well known; more recently there is some evidence that suggests an independent effect of income inequality on health. However this association of income inequality with health appears to be weaker at smaller spatial levels. The paper examines the question whether socioeconomic segregation at the neighbourhood level, which is the spatial manifestation of income inequality, is associated with higher mortality rates. Methods: Data on mortality rates, income, income inequality (Gini coefficient) and income segregation were analysed for all 73 districts within the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The outcomes in this study are district level standardized mortality rates for total mortality, premature cardiovascular mortality and infectious disease causes mortality. Census data were used to calculate the proportion of income groups at census tract level (n = 2,157) and to calculate global segregation scores for the city and local segregation scores for localities within the city. Results: The results demonstrate the existence of income inequality and income segregation within the city and a relationship, at district level, between these measures and health outcomes. There is some evidence to suggest that income segregation is associated with population health over and above the effects of income and income inequality. If poor people are completely isolated in the neighbourhoods where they live, those districts have around 14 deaths per 1000 population more than districts where poor people are not isolated in their neighbourhoods. Conclusion: The residential segregation of poor people within cities may need to be addressed, along with income inequality, if health inequalities are to be reduced. Urban and economic development that results in increasing the spatial segregation of poor people may result in widening health inequalities. Keywords: Urban segregation; income segregation, income inequality, health inequalities.

CCSR Paper 2013-05: Age, ageing and subjective wellbeing - Stephen Jivraj, Bram Vanhoutte, James Nazroo, Tarani Chandola

Abstract Objectives. This paper examines age-related changes in subjective wellbeing in later life using multiple measures that cover eudemonic, evaluative and affective dimensions of wellbeing. Method. Using data from five waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (2002-2011), we fit multilevel linear growth curve models to examine the cross-sectional effects of age and the longitudinal effects of ageing on quality of life, depressive symptomatology and life satisfaction in later life. Results. Older individuals are shown to have a better subjective wellbeing than those that are younger for each wellbeing measure, except at the oldest age for quality of life. Nonetheless, deterioration in wellbeing is greater at older ages, even when adjusting for age-related changes in later life, including widowhood, retirement and declining health. Discussion. The results suggest that although older people enjoy higher levels of subjective wellbeing than their younger counterparts, they experience sharper declines, especially at the oldest ages. The findings also demonstrate the importance of taking into account the multidimensionality of subjective wellbeing to determine the point at which age deterioration begins to occur across different measures. Keywords: subjective wellbeing, age, ageing, growth curve modelling.

CCSR Paper 2013-04: An Investigation of the Predictors of Paternal Involvement - Mark Elliot, Colette Fagan, Helen Norman

The traditional 'male breadwinner' family model has been in decline since the latter part of the twentieth century as increasing numbers of mothers (re)enter the labour market after having children. Although men's involvement in domestic labour is also rising, economic provisioning continues to be the essence of 'good' fathering meaning the hours a fathers works remain key in shaping their involvement at home. However, in light of economic changes and shifting gender roles, the relative impact of fathers' and mothers' employment hours on paternal involvement in childcare is unclear, and little is also known about the long term impact. To address this, we explore the relative association that mothers' and fathers' work hours have with two different levels of paternal involvement: fathers who take on the most childcare or share it equally with a partner. Multivariate analysis on the UK's Millennium Cohort Study reveals that mothers' work hours have the strongest, longitudinal association with paternal involvement in childcare suggesting ways of working in the first year of a child's life have some bearing on paternal involvement when the child is older. Mothers' work hours are also more strongly associated with paternal involvement when the child is aged three but only when the father also works full-time. The effect of mothers working full-time is reversed when the father works part-time or not at all suggesting a complete gender role reversal is incompatible with father involvement. Keywords: Fathers, paternal involvement, mothers, childcare, gender division of labour, employment, work hours.

CCSR Paper 2013-03: Statistician guidance on optimal strategies to reduce non-response in longitudinal studies - Ian Plewis, Natalie Shlomo

Abstract Longitudinal survey managers are required to make decisions about the efficient allocation of resources in order to maintain representativity and sample size over time in the face of inevitable loss from the initial sample. This paper uses two statistical approaches that are both based on the response propensity models that survey researchers often estimate to learn more about the correlates of different kinds of non-response. The first approach uses R-indicators, recently developed to assess different strategies for improving response rates in cross-sectional surveys but here applied to longitudinal surveys for the first time. The second approach is based on Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and the optimal strategies that can be derived from them in terms of targeting interventions to reduce non-response. Both approaches are applied to data from the Millennium Cohort Study. We find, from consideration of R-indicators, that sample maintenance strategies based on reissuing cases that refused at an earlier wave might not be optimal although reissuing previously not located cases is probably worthwhile in terms of maintaining representativity. The ROC analyses suggest that developing interventions to reduce non-response in longitudinal studies might not be cost efficient. Keywords: Non-response; resource allocation; response propensity models; R-indicators; ROC curves; Millennium Cohort Study.

CCSR Paper 2013-02: Assessing the Effects of Heavy Episodic Drinking on Interpersonal Assault Using Multilevel Modelling - Mark Elliot; Mark Tranmer, Carly Lightowlers

Assessing the Effects of Heavy Episodic Drinking on Interpersonal Assault Using Multilevel Modelling Abstract This study examines the joint development of drinking patterns and violent behaviour across the late adolescent and early adult years. It employs panel data of regular drinkers aged between 16 and 29 in England and Wales. Three nested multi-level models explore the variation accounted for within and between individuals in their propensity to commit assault controlling for their drinking behaviour. Results suggest that males and younger people are more likely to commit assault offences and that around 60% of the variation in assault is between people; the remainder being within people between occasions. Heavy episodic drinking is a significant predictor of assault in all models. Collectively, the findings point to a contemporaneous association between drinking and violent outcomes.

CCSR Paper 2013-01: The incidence of worklessness among new immigrants - Kitty Lymperopoulou

The incidence of worklessness among new immigrants in England Abstract This paper investigates the incidence of worklessness among recent immigrants in England using data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS)1 and logistic multilevel modelling. The model takes into account individual, household and neighbourhood factors expected to influence worklessness and differentiates between immigrants from both 'established' and 'new' immigrant groups according to country of origin and ethnicity. The results suggest that the labour market disadvantage of non-white immigrants in England persists, with recent immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan found to have higher odds of worklessness than other immigrants. Non-white immigrants originating in countries outside the Commonwealth are found to be nearly as disadvantaged in the labour market. Conversely, immigrants from the EU Accession countries are found to be less likely to be workless compared to other immigrant groups. The results also suggest that contextual factors influence the incidence of worklessness among new immigrants with those living in the most deprived areas and ethically dense areas generally facing a higher risk of worklessness.

ISC working papers

ISC Paper 2013-04 (Draft): Hard Times, Worklessness and Unemployment in Britain and the USA (1972-2011) - Yaojun Li

In this paper, we examine the employment situation of disadvantaged social groups in Britain and the USA in the last forty years (1972-2011). Using data from the General Household Survey/Labour Force Survey for Britain and the Current Population Survey for the USA, we find that young people, ethnic minorities and those with low qualifications had poor chances of employment. With particular regard to minority ethnic groups, we find that Blacks always had higher unemployment rates in both countries, followed by Pakistanis-Bangladeshis in Britain and Hispanics in the USA. The disadvantages became much more pronounced at the peak of recessions. The overall disadvantages were more salient in Britain than in the USA, suggesting that the flexible labour market policies adopted by the British government failed to protect the most vulnerable groups and that the affirmative action programmes helped reduce minority ethnic disadvantages in the USA.

ISC Paper 2013-03 (Draft): Economic Hard Times and Life Satisfaction in the UK and the US - James Laurence and Chaeyoon Lim

Both in Britain and the U.S., the Great Recession lead to a drop in life satisfaction. The drop was significantly larger (again in both countries) among the unemployed than among those in employment, but it was present even for those in employment. The drops in life satisfaction were, however, fairly short-lived and life satisfaction in both countries quickly returned to the pre-recession level, even long before the recession was over. This suggests that the national level of life satisfaction is more likely to be influenced by the salience of bad economic news in the public consciousness rather than by structural economic conditions per se.

At the individual level, the unemployed reported a lower level of life satisfaction, compared not only to the employed, but also to their own life satisfaction before unemployment. Life satisfaction was also affected negatively when a household member became unemployed.

At least in the U.S. we find that the effect of unemployment lingered on even after the unemployed found a new job. This, however, was not the case in the U.K., as Britons who had experienced unemployment returned to the pre-unemployment level of life satisfaction once they regained employment. The timing of the surveys in the two countries might explain the discrepancy in our findings about the “scarring effect” of unemployment. Britain’s more extensive welfare state and more generous access to unemployment benefits might also explain this discrepancy, but previous studies in Germany also found a similar “scarring effect,” casting doubt on this proposition.

ISC Paper 2013-02 (Draft): "The Scars of Others Should Teach us Caution" - The Long-term Effects of Job 'Displacement' on Civic Participation over the Lifecourse: a Cross-national Comparative Study between GB and the US 

This paper explores the effects of job ‘displacement’ (that is ‘involuntary job loss’ through ‘lays-offs’ and ‘redundancies’) on rates of civic participation across the lifecourse, in Great Britain and United States. Using cohort data, our analysis finds that in both countries experiences of displacement significantly reduce long-term rates of civic participation, leaving a scar on participation that persists long after an individual returns to employment. Furthermore, a single displacement event is just as detrimental as two or more events, over an individual’s life. Further tests reveal that it is not ‘job loss’ nor experiences of ‘unemployment’ generally that account for displacement’s effect; instead there is something peculiar about ‘job loss’ and ‘unemployment’ that results from displacement in particular that matters.

We also demonstrate that displacement earlier in one’s lifecourse matters more for participation than later experiences. Possible explanations of lower SES, familial breakdown, or lower psychological well-being fail to account for post-displacement differences in participation. Instead, the evidence suggests that experiencing displacement during the key period of ‘joining’ (between one’s early-20s and mid-40s) sets individuals on to a different “participation career” path. Lower rates of participation across the lifecourse are thus not a result of ‘dropping out’ of participation per se. Instead, displacement stagnates and truncates one’s typical participation lifecycle leading to the emergence of significant differences in future participation that emerge over time. We find consistent effects amongst men in both GB and the US, although some differences exist between GB and US women.

ISC Paper 2013-01 (Draft): The Intergenerational Transmission of Worklessness in the US and the UK - Paul Gregg and Lindsey Macmillan

This paper is the first international comparison of intergenerational worklessness, comparing the US and the UK. We compare intergenerational worklessness in two countries with varying access to welfare for the younger generation to assess the potential role of intergenerational welfare dependency in this transmission. Theories of intergenerational welfare dependency predict higher intergenerational worklessness in countries with greater access to welfare. We find no evidence to support this as the intergenerational correlations in both the UK and the US are very similar. For sons, this correlation varies by the local labour market conditions that the son is exposed to but, crucially, the extent of variation is identical in both countries. For daughters, there is some evidence of those from workless fathers turning away from the labour market in favour of the legitimate alternative life choice of early childbirth.

2012 working papers

CCSR working papers

CCSR Paper 2012-07: Statistical Disclosure Control and Protecting Privacy within a Clinical Data Warehouse - M. J. Elliot, D. Kalra, P. Singleton and D. Smith

There is increasing interest in the development and research use of large scale repositories of clinical data, known as Clinical Data Warehouses (CDWs). CDWs facilitate the pooling of data from one or more electronic health record systems, providing a potentially useful resource for clinical research. Whether or not there is consent for the data to be used for research, there is almost always a need to protect the privacy of the individuals whose data is stored within the data warehouse. Formal identifiers such as name and address are usually not directly relevant to research questions and can be removed before data is released for research purposes. However, this alone does not preclude the identification of individuals within a CDW or the discovery of sensitive information about such individuals. By examining an example clinical data warehouse, developed during the Clinical E-Science Framework (CLEF) project, the authors have been able to consider these disclosure risks in detail. This paper describes the purposes of clinical data warehouses (CDWs), the risks posed through statistical disclosure, how these can be limited by appropriate use of statistical disclosure control (SDC) methods, and discusses how these can be applied in the context of clinical data warehousing.

CCSR Paper 2012-06: Measuring subjective well-being in later life: a review - Bram Vanhoutte

Abstract: This working paper assesses self-reported measures of subjective well-being in later life. In the first place, an overview of the theoretical background of a number of measures, focusing on those present in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), is given. Secondly, the structure of these measurements and the interrelations between them are tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Thirdly, the cross-cultural measurement equivalence of the CASP-scale, a eudaimonic measure developed specifically for older adults, is testing using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). These analyses reveal that it makes sense to distinguish affective, cognitive and eudaimonic measures of well-being empirically, but that these measures are more closely interrelated than one would expect on the base of theory alone. The analysis on CASP in SHARE reveals that the scale can be used to investigate differences in eudaimonic and hedonic subjective well-being across Europe, as partial scalar measurement equivalence is confirmed.

CCSR Paper 2012-05: Measuring paternal involvement in childcare - Helen Norman and Mark Elliot

Three data reduction methods - Principal Components Analysis (PCA), Principal Axis Factoring (PAF), Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) - are used on a sample of households from sweep one of the Millennium Cohort Study to derive two quantitative measures of paternal involvement in childcare and housework, respectively defined as engagement and responsibility. The purpose of using all three methods, aside from developing the most accurate and robust measure, was to explore the differences within each technique and the effect that these differences would have on results and further analyses that use the latent variables. All three methods produce two, moderately correlated latent variables, which could be used in further analyses to measure the conditions to model paternal involvement, and there are no major differences to the component/factor structure. This challenges criticisms directed mainly to the technique of PCA, which has often been labelled an inferior and more biased method compared to PAF.

CCSR Paper 2012-04: The Social Consequences of Unemployment in Europe: a Two-Stage Multilevel Analysis - Vanessa Gash, Martina Dieckhoff

In this paper we examine the relationship between unemployment and social participation and aim to identify the role of national policies and attitudes as possible mediators. We use the 2006 EU-SILC module on social participation: a dataset that provides rich information on social participation for 24 EU countries. We adopt a two-stage multilevel design, allowing us to directly examine the impact of national policies and norms on individual outcome. The paper reveals clear evidence that the negative impact of unemployment on participation levels can be alleviated by macro-level factors. Societies where egalitarian ideals are held high have higher social participation rates amongst their unemployed.

CCSR Paper 2012-03: Development of a relational model of disability - Alan Marshall; Paul Norman, Ian Plewis

Age-specific rates of particular disability types are important for planning purposes and are a valuable input to estimates and projections of populations with different disabilities. However, survey estimates of schedules of disability rates display evidence of sampling variability and sub-national disability schedules are often unavailable for reasons of disclosure protection. This paper develops and evaluates a method to smooth sampling variability in national schedules of disability using a technique that has applicability to subnational estimation of age-specific disability rates. Relational models are used to adjust the limiting long term illness schedule for England (Census 2001) to represent different disability schedules (Health Survey for England 2000/01) smoothing sampling fluctuations. For hearing disability a simple Brass relational model involving two parameters provides a good fit. For other disability types a modified version of the Ewbank relational model with 3 parameters is required. This paper illustrates that relational models can accurately capture the relationship between age-specific rates of limiting long term illness and various disability types. Keywords: Relational model, disability, limiting long term illness, estimation, schedules.

CCSR Paper 2012-02: Measurement Error in Retrospective Reports of Unemployment - Jose Pina-Sánchez, Johan Koskinen, Ian Plewis

We analyse the presence of measurement error in two retrospective questions on work status. Measurement error in retrospective reports of work status has been difficult to quantify in the past. Issues of confidentiality have made access to datasets linking survey responses to a valid administrative source very problematic. This study uses a Swedish register of unemployment as a benchmark against which responses from two survey questions are compared and hence the presence of measurement error elucidated. We carry out separate analyses for the different forms that measurement error in retrospective reports of unemployment can take: miscounting the number of spells of unemployment, mismeasuring duration in unemployment, misdating starts of spells, and misclassification of status. The prevalence of measurement error for different social categories and interview formats is also examined, leading to a better understanding of the error-generating mechanisms that interact when interviewees are asked to produce retrospective reports of past work status. Results show that measurement error is more associated with features of the question asked (time frame and time units used) and saliency of the work histories (length and number of spells), than with demographic characteristics (gender and age).'

CCSR Paper 2012-01: Inequalities in breast screening uptake among South Asian women in the UK: The role of service providers - A. Jain**, N. Acik-Toprak, J. Serevitch, J. Nazroo

Abstract Objective: To asses how Breast Screening Units in the UK communicate with their South Asian screening population. Design: Survey sent via mail to all 95 Breast Screening Units in the UK in summer 2009. Survey received a response rate of 70%. Results: A majority of Breast Screening Units agree that it would be useful to record the patient's language to improve services to patients (79%), yet only a minority of units record the patient's language when attending mammography (27%). Only one unit sent out the initial invitation letter for screening in a South-Asian language. The most common mode of communicating the breast screening programmes to South Asian women are translated leaflets and 85% of units can access them, yet only 38% hand them out to women when attending mammography. 73% of units arrange interpreters in advance, but 39% of the units rated their communication with South Asian women as poor or very poor. Finally, 75.8% of units revised the breast screening information locally, yet only 12% of units consulted South Asian women for this. Cluster analysis showed that the majority of units ie: 47 (71%) do the minimum to reach out to South Asian women (Routine Outreach Units) while only a minority of units tend to be more active in addressing South Asian women (Pro-active Outreach Units, 19 (29%)). Conclusions: Leaflets and the use of interpreters are seen as a quick solution to communication barriers, yet this is clearly not enough to ensure informed consent and to increase the uptake rate among South Asian women. Interventions to increase uptake rates need to be more long-term and multiple in nature, tailored to the specific needs of the local community by, for example, developing close links with the community through Health Education workers. Reducing ethnic inequalities in uptake rates of breast cancer screening needs to remain a policy priority of the Government and the Breast Screening Programme.

*This study has been funded by the The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal, Manchester.

**University Hospital of South Manchester, Email:

ISC working papers

ISC Paper 2012-01: When Context Matters - An Assessment of the External Validity of Get-Out-The-Vote- Experiments Using a Population Based Field Experiment - Edward Fieldhouse, David Cutts, Peter John and Paul Widdop

Whilst field experiments enjoy the advantage over laboratory experiments that the treatments are tested in realistic settings, it is generally unclear whether the results of a particular experiment can be extrapolated from the specific location and election to a generalised situation. In this article, we use a population-based field experiment in order to test the extent to which treatment effects for impersonal mobilisation techniques (direct mail and telephone) are sensitive to where they are carried out (geography) and the context of the election in which they were conducted. We find that on the whole it does not much matter where an experiment is conducted: the treatment effects are to all intents and purposes uniform. This has hugely important implications for the external validity of GOTV field studies more generally, especially where single locations are used. However, there is one important exception this: experiments carried out in high turnout locations are likely to show larger effects than those carried out in low turnout areas.

2011 working papers

CCSR Paper 2011-05: A multilevel analysis of the relationship between national economic conditions, an individual's job insecurity and well-being in Western Europe - Ewan Carr, Mark Elliot and Mark Tranmer

Are individuals more strongly affected by job insecurity when economic conditions are worse? Combining data from the European Social Survey and Eurostat, this paper considers whether national economic conditions moderate the association between job insecurity and subjective well-being. The negative association between perceived job insecurity and individual well-being is widely reported (eg Burchell et al., 1999; De Witte, 1999). There is also evidence to suggest that local unemployment rates are negatively associated with individual well-being (eg Clark et al., 2010). Much less is known about the interaction of these variables. Job insecurity may be associated with depression (Ferrie et al., 2002) or life dissatisfaction (Lim, 1996), but how does the strength of these associations vary in the face of contrasting economic conditions? A multilevel modelling approach is used to test a single hypothesis: that the negative effect of job insecurity on subjective well-being is amplified when regional and national economic conditions are worse. The analyses show that, while perceived job insecurity is negatively associated with life satisfaction for all individuals, the association is strongest in countries where unemployment is high and GDP is low.

CCSR Paper 2011-04: Auxiliary variables and adjustments for missingness in longitudinal studies - Ian Plewis

Different sorts of auxiliary variables - variables measured at previous waves, frame variables and paradata - can be used to improve the accuracy of response propensity models, and to enhance adjustments for missing longitudinal data. All these variables are used in this paper when constructing iterative probability weights, carrying out multiple imputations, and specifying models that jointly model a substantive process and the missingness mechanism. Data from the first two waves of the UK Millennium Cohort Study are used to illustrate the potential value of auxiliary variables. We find that the accuracy of response probability models - as measured by the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve - is improved by the inclusion of frame variables and paradata but these variables have rather little effect when adjusting the chosen longitudinal estimates. There is, however, evidence to suggest that unobserved variables are correlated with the outcome of interest and with the probability of being a respondent at wave two.

CCSR Paper 2011-03: Modelling socioeconomic neighbourhood change due to internal migration in England - Stephen Jivraj

In England, deprived neighbourhoods were the focus of a number of policy initiatives constructed by the previous Labour government. The most notable was the New Deal for Communities programme. The evaluations of this programme and earlier interventions have shown that attempts to improve neighbourhood outcomes might be affected by people selectively moving in and out of targeted areas. Nonetheless, there is very little evidence that provides an appreciation of this effect. This paper examines the effect of internal migration on the concentration of low income families in neighbourhoods in England during 2002-2007 using a multilevel growth curve model. Explanatory variables in the model include the regional area and district type of a neighbourhood as well as whether the neighbourhood is ranked within the 20% most deprived in England. The findings suggest that deprived neighbourhoods increase their concentration of poor families at a faster rate than all other neighbourhoods. However, the increase is marginal.

CCSR Paper 2011-02: End Game: Can Game Theory Help Us Explain How a Statistical Disclosure Might Occur and Play Out? - Elaine Mackey and Mark Elliot

To fully account for the risk of a statistical disclosure occurring requires that we develop a better understanding of how a disclosure might occur and what its consequences might be. To do this we need to consider not just the target data but also the environment in which that data is produced and released. Through this we can identify and explore the events leading up to and following from a (claim of) disclosure. That is, we can move beyond modelling the mechanisms of statistical disclosure to conceptualising and systematically representing disclosure events in their entirety. In this paper, we show how it is possible to apply a game theoretic reasoning to model disclosure events to examine how key agents in a disclosure event might interact to bring about particular outcomes. The paper gives a brief introduction to game theory and to how it might be applied to the disclosure event situation.

CCSR Paper 2011-01: Census 2011: Independent Review of Coverage Assessment, Adjustment and Quality Assurance - Ian Plewis, Ludi Simpson and Paul Williamson

In October 2010 the National Statistician, Jil Matheson, asked Professor Ian Plewis from The University of Manchester to lead a review of methods for coverage assessment, coverage adjustment and quality assurance of the 2011 Census population estimates for England and Wales. These methods are crucial to the accuracy of final census population estimates, which will underpin official statistics and be used by researchers, decision makers and policy makers for years to come. Professor Plewis was invited to lead the review on the recommendation of the President of the Royal Statistical Society.

ONS have now published a response.

2010 working papers

CCSR working papers

CCSR Paper 2010-08: Assessing the accuracy of response propensities in longitudinal studies - Ian Plewis, Sosthenes Ketende, Lisa Calderwood

The omnipresence of non-response in longitudinal studies is addressed by assessing the accuracy of statistical models constructed to predict different types of non-response. Particular attention is paid to summary measures derived from receiver operating characteristic curves and logit rank plots as ways of assessing accuracy. The ideas are applied to data from the first four waves of the UK Millennium Cohort Study and the results suggest that our ability to discriminate and predict non-response is not high. Changes in socio-economic circumstances do predict wave non-response with implications for the underlying missingness mechanism. Conclusions are drawn in terms of the potential of interventions to prevent non-response and methods of adjusting for it.

CCSR Paper 2010-07: Ethnic Differences in overweight and obese children in England - Vanessa Higgins, Angela Dale

The 1999 and 2004 Health Surveys for England are used to examine ethnic differences in overweight and obese boys and girls aged 2-15. Separate logistic regression models are run for 6 different ethnic groups. Having overweight or obese parents is a stronger predictor of childhood BMI than ethnic origin. Mothers’ and fathers’ BMI are predictors of childhood BMI across the ethnic groups studied but there are differences between boys and girls with the same ethnic origin. Interventions aimed at reducing childhood overweight/obesity should focus on parental characteristics, but they also need to be sensitive to gender and ethnic differences.

CCSR Paper 2010-06: Demographic Explanations for Changes in Ethnic Residential Segregation across the Life Course - Albert Sabater, Nissa Finney

This paper presents analyses of changes in the level and direction of ethnic residential segregation in Britain taking a life-stage perspective. Changes are separately analysed for age cohorts, ethnic groups and sub-national areas. The results show ethnic residential desegregation in the 1990s across age cohorts and ethnic groups, and this is particularly marked for young adults. The second part of the paper examines how age differentiation in migration patterns can explain these changes in segregation. It shows that what has been described as 'White flight' and 'minority self-segregation' can alternatively be seen as a dynamics of desegregation in which age differentiated migration is common across ethnic groups: young adult urbanisation and family/older adult suburbanisation with immigration of a similar magnitude to the least and most diverse areas. The paper concludes that it is necessary to take age into account to understand ethnic residential segregation and its dynamics. The paper uses census-based population and components of population change estimates for small areas linking the 1991 and 2001 censuses in England and Wales and 2001 UK census microdata.

CCSR Paper 2010-05: Estimation of local demographic variation in a flexible framework for population projections - Ludi Simpson and Harvey Snowling

An experiment with small areas of Fife in Scotland shows that persuasive local population projections based on standard data for standard areas are feasible without the regular publication of migration flows. Three approaches are compared: (a) direct estimation of local area age-specific schedules of fertility, mortality and migration based on data available to the national statistical agency; (b) adaptation of national schedules using only local area population estimates by age, total numbers of births, and total number of deaths: age-specific migration is indirectly estimated from successive population estimates; (c) use of the same rates for each small area. (Full paper)

CCSR Paper 2010-04: Understanding ethnic differences in migration of young adults within Britain from a lifecourse perspective - Nissa Finney

This paper is situated at the confluence of two emerging areas of research: a lifecourse approach in internal migration studies and in geography more broadly; and studies of sub- populations within lifecourse research. The paper aims to better understand the complexities of ethnic group migration in Britain, in particular why young adults of some ethnic groups are more mobile than others. The paper draws on theories of norms of transition to adulthood. UK Census microdata of migration within Britain by age and ethnic group are used. The paper shows ethnic similarities: migration patterns that are distinct in young adulthood compared with other ages and many common characteristics of mobility. However, there are also differences between ethnic groups in levels of migration and in how young adult life events are associated with migration. In particular, partnership brings increased residential mobility for White British young adults but reduced mobility for South Asian young adults with females in both cases being the 'partnership movers'. Being a student increases mobility for White British and Chinese young adults but reduces mobility for Blacks and South Asians (especially females) raising issues of access to higher education. The paper concludes that a lifecourse perspective provides an understanding of ethnic differences in migration previously lacking from 'segregation' perspectives.

CCSR Paper 2010-03: Geographical and Social Variations In Unpaid Caring Within and Outside the Household in England and Wales - Paul Norman and Kingsley Purdam

Unpaid caring is defined as any help or support provided to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of their long-term physical or mental health or disability, or problems related to old age. It is estimated that there are over 6 million unpaid carers in the UK. In this paper we examine geographic and social variations in the amount of unpaid caring across England and Wales with a particular focus on carers aged 40 and over. Using the Samples of Anonymised Records from the 2001 Census we analyse individual sub-national geographic variations in the amount of unpaid caring in England and Wales. We make a distinction in terms of whether an unpaid carer provides care within or outside of their own household since there might be different geographies and characteristics of carers.

CCSR Paper 2010-02: From Me to You? A Comparative Analysis of Reciprocal Helping and Civic Society - Kingsley Purdam, Mark Tranmer

Helping other people in terms of, for example, organising a local community event or providing support to a neighbour is at the core of debates about civic society. In order to develop our understanding of why certain people are more likely to help than others in different circumstances we examine the issue of reciprocity in relation to helping behaviour. We consider specifically whether a person who helps another person expects help in return.

CCSR Paper 2010-01: Constructing and Applying Risk Scores in the Social Sciences - Ian Plewis

Social scientists are interested in associations between explanatory variables measured at an earlier point in time and later outcomes. In some contexts, it is useful to divide these explanatory variables into risk and protective variables although the literature is often confused about the distinction between them. This paper clarifies the distinction and shows how to assess the accuracy of risk scores generated from models that relate a binary outcome to a set of risk and protective variables. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and the logit rank plot are introduced and summary measures of accuracy derived from them. The ROC curve provides a framework for informing decisions about whether and how to intervene to prevent a poor outcome by taking account of the costs of misclassification.

The ideas are applied to two examples: (i) predicting adult educational disadvantage from variables measured early in life; (ii) classifying and predicting non-respondents in longitudinal studies.

ISC working papers

ISC Paper 2010-01: The labour market situation of minority ethnic groups in Britain and the US - an analysis of employment status and class position (1990/1 – 2000/1) - Prof Yaojun Li

Both Britain and the US are committed to social and ethnic equality. But how much ethnic disadvantage is there in the two countries? Do minority ethnic groups fare better in one country than in the other? Is there any progress over time? This paper examines the employment status and the class position of minority ethnic groups in the two countries using micro-data from the two most recent Censuses of the Population. The analysis shows that most people from minority ethnic origins in the two countries were heavily disadvantaged both in employment and in access to professional-managerial (salariat) positions. For comparable minority ethnic groups, people in the US fared better than their British counterparts but the latter, especially the second-generation, were found as making more progress over time. There was greater ethnic polarisation in the US than in Britain, with some groups remaining persistently disadvantaged but others outperforming Whites. Overall, while some signs of improvement are visible, persistent ethnic disadvantages are the defining feature of the social structure in both countries. Much more needs to be done to ensure social-ethnic equality.

ISC Paper 2010-03: Sport, Capital and Consumption - Paul Widdop

Paul Widdop examines the structuring of sport consumption in contemporary England and revises our understanding of the working of cultural capital.

ISC Paper 2010-05: Social class, aspirations and cultural capital: A case study of working class children’s plans for the future and their parents’ involvement in life beyond the school gates - Sam Baars

The research explores the relationship between social class, children’s occupational aspirations and parenting cultures associated with the realisation of these aspirations. Three claims are assessed within the context of a Year 4 class in a suburban primary school: firstly, whether working class children are less likely than their middle class peers to express an aspiration; secondly, whether children’s social class influences the content of their aspirations, and thirdly, whether working class parents are less likely than middle class parents to adopt patterns of behaviour associated with the transmission of cultural resources that help children to achieve these aspirations. Qualitative and quantitative data is gathered from pupils, parents and teachers and is analysed using mixed methods to build a holistic picture of children’s class backgrounds, home lives and hopes for the future, their parents’ views of school and approaches to child rearing, and the attitudes and opinions of school staff. The research finds no relation between children’s social class and their ability to express an aspiration, little relation between class and the content of children’s aspirations, and little relation between class and cultural logics of upbringing. Two main suggestions are made for future research: firstly, that age effects related to the collection of data on aspirations need careful treatment; secondly, that cultural accounts of working class life would benefit from further analysis of the suburban context.

ISC Paper 2010-08: An Internet Mediated Domain of Local Governance? - Paul Hepburn

The UK government, with a view to redressing growing civic disenchantment with elected representatives and governmental institutions, continues to look to new technologies to provide a new ‘architecture of participation’. But what are the current prospects for the local governance process being re-invented at the interface of the social and the technological? This paper seeks to empirically address this question by exploring the use made of the internet by a variety of local civic, political and institutional actors during a 2008 UK local referendum on introducing the largest traffic congestion charging scheme in the world. This paper draws upon Social Network Analysis theory and utilises Lusher and Ackland’s innovative ‘Relational Hyperlink Analysis’ to quantitatively explore significance and meaning in a conceptually defined internet mediated domain of local governance. This approach reveals a distinct homophily effect within the online ‘congestion charge’ network with local governance sites mainly hyperlinking to each other and websites hosting web 2.0 technologies also more likely to only reference each other. The paper concludes that, in this instance, where civic and local government actors failed to engage each other online, use of the web as a space for local deliberation on the policy making process is very much work in progress. As a consequence the potential of a new, civic, ‘architecture of participation’ has yet to be fully exploited by civic leaders and activists.

ISC Paper 2010-09: Political decentralisation, accountability, and local public service performance: evidence from decentralised Indonesia - Sujarwoto

Many developing countries are experimenting with decentralisation of public service delivery to elected local governments instead of bureaucrats appointed by a central government. In attempting to understand the working of this experiment, I propose a model to study the linkages between local government accountability, local government corruption, and citizens’ political participation to explain decentralisation performance. Using simple and multilevel regressions, the hypothesis is empirically tested against evidence from newly empowered local governments in Indonesia. The empirical findings broadly support the hypotheses. Improved public service, both in term of quantity and quality, requires citizens’ political participation as well as accountable local governments. Both are required to allocate resources to priority areas that meet the demand of the local community.

ISC Paper 2010-10: Recall error and recall bias in life course epidemiology - Gindo Tampubolon

Tampubolon proposes a distinction between recall error and recall bias and examines the effect of childhood financial hardship on adult health, subject to such recall problems. Studying the effect of childhood hardship on adult health is a prototypical investigation in life course studies where both non-clinical factors and long-duration processes are at play in determining health outcome. These factors and processes are often elicited retrospectively. Unfortunately, retrospective information on childhood hardship is often subject to recall error and recall bias. There is surprisingly little methodological work on how to purge their effects in retrospective life course studies. Tampubolon recasts a variant of generalised latent variable models as covariate error measurement model to purge recall error in life course study. Additionally, the endogeneous treatment model is recast as a solution to the problem of recall bias. Both models are applied to examine the effect of childhood financial hardship on adult health status of more than 359,000 European respondents from 23 countries. Moreover, the solutions are validated using the National Child Development Study cohort where both prospective and retrospective information are available.

ISC Paper 2010-11: Digital citizenship and school for democracy in Britain 2006-2008 - Gindo Tampubolon

The verdict on the effect of the Internet on generalised trust has been equivocal at best and dominated by evidence from the U.S. Concerns about the unsocialising effect of the Internet on society and polity have been argued in the past. Recent evidence from the U.S. betrays an evolution in people's use of the Internet that raises new questions on its link with generalised trust, civic engagement and sociability. The evolution of Internet uses also suggests a form of varied engagement that presage a digital citizenship.

Previous assessments on the link between the Internet and trust have been hampered by endogeneity. Unobserved individual heterogeneity may drive people both to embrace the technology and to generally trust in others. Additionally, in my British data source, individuals reside within neighbourhoods so that unobserved neighbourhood heterogeneity may condition the effect of digital citizenship on trust or social capital. Addressing both kinds of heterogeneity requires a new model: a multilevel endogeneous treatment model.

I build and apply the multilevel endogeneous treatment model to estimate the effect of Internet use on social capital. British Taking Part surveys data 2006-2008 (N=10,196; neighbourhoods=3,175) demonstrate that, controlling for individual heterogeneity and neighbourhood heterogeneity, varied engagements with the Internet increase the amount of individual social capital. A move towards inclusive digital citizenship or varied Internet engagement thus may improve social capital.

ISC Paper 2010-12: Multi-level anchoring vignettes for comparative study of health inequalities in 48 countries of the WHO - Gindo Tampubolon

Three elements of cross-country comparative study can help in the study of complex and heterogeneous concept such as health status inequality across the world. The elements include: substantive theory, anchoring vignettes and bespoke survey. I propose an extended health capital theory which includes the effect of community or country social capital in the improvement of individual health. I also extend the anchoring vignettes with random intercepts since cross-country comparative study increasingly investigate large numbers of countries and their residents. The data source for the application is the World Health Survey, a specially tailored survey with anchoring vignettes of various dimensions of individual health status. This study applies random effect anchoring vignettes modelling to test the claim that country level social capital improves individual health status, in particular it reduces the level of mobility-problems dimension of health. The results show that country level social capital as measured using average trust in other people reduces the number of individual mobility problems, after controlling for the country's level of development, individual age and gender.

ISC Paper 2010-13: E pluribus Duo: Contrasts in US and British Segregation Patterns - Ceri Peach

Recent attempts have been made to argue that Britain is sleepwalking into American style ghettoisation. The paper argues that such claims misunderstand both the US and British situations. In particular they fail to recognise the unique intensity of the African-American ghetto. Nothing like the concentration of the African American population exists in Britain and attempts to label Indian, Pakistani or Caribbean areas as ghettos misrepresents the British minority position and underestimates the African American situation.

The ghetto is a phenomenon, almost unique in western urban societies, to the African American population. Although Black segregation levels are now decreasing, the ghetto remains. British ethnic segregation is generally moderate and decreasing and seems to be following the American assimilation, Rather than the African American ghetto model. However, ghettos do exist in Northern Ireland albeit with different causation processes from those in the US. Ironically, the truly ghettoised groups in the US and UK are their oldest minorities, the African Americans and the Northern Irish Catholics. Space, however, doe not allow me to cover this latter important topic.

The paper compares segregation levels for minority populations in the US and UK. It finds that the decreasing levels of segregation, over time, for foreign immigrants groups and their descendants, predicted by the assimilation model of the melting pot, has been an accurate predictor for the formation of the American nation. The exception has been the African Americans. The extreme rejection of Blacks has been the means by which newer arrivals have been able to ‘become’ White. Black segregation levels remain high, although slow signs of decrease have appeared since 1980. The paper argues that the failure to distinguish between the ghetto and the ethnic enclave has allowed a misinterpretation of the Black present, a falsification of its predicted future and the misrepresentation of the history of the European ethnics’ past.

ISC Paper 2010-14: Civic engagement and trust in Britain 2003-2004 - Gindo Tampubolon

The effect of civic engagement on generalised trust or social capital is endogeneous due to unobserved heterogeneity driving both engagement and trust. Nurture and values lie at the core of this heterogeneity. Nurturing environment with parental examples about trust and values of control and optimism capture most determinants of trust so that, controlling for nurture and values, civic engagement should be independent of trust. I examine the contributions of nurture, values, civic engagement, and unobserved heterogeneity in explaining trust. Endogeneous treatment model is applied with an overdispersed Poisson extension because civic engagement is a count (not binary) variable. British Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion survey data (N=1,829) demonstrate that the Tocquevillian claim still stands. Civic engagement leads to trust, over and above unobserved heterogeneity and observed nurture plus values. However, in British society, social class of upbringing trumps nearly all these causes.

ISC Paper 2010-15: For richer and for poorer: well-being in Europe before and during crisis - Sujarwoto and Gindo Tampubolon

The 2007 European financial crisis causes detrimental effects on its citizens' well-being. We investigate these effects by comparing two well-being measures, ie happiness and life satisfaction across European countries before and during the crisis. The European Value Study (EVS) 1999 and 2008 are used to examine these two different economic contexts and we apply multivariate multilevel model to study the effects of the crisis on happiness and life satisfaction simultaneously. The impacts of the crisis on well-being are far from uniform across countries in this area. The decline of well-being appears in several countries in Western Europe and Nordic countries, whereas in Eastern Europe the crisis has less effect on well-being. The larger impacts of the crisis affect more the vulnerable groups, including those with less income, unemployed, and older people. Companionships and social capital are important buffers to maintain well-being during the disruptive economic circumstances in Europe.

2009 working papers

CCSR working papers

CCSR Paper 2009-09: The Values of Helping That Underpin Civic Engagement - A Multilevel Analysis of the European Social Survey - Kingsley Purdam and Mark Tranmer

Help and helping are part of the set of human values and are at the core of debates about civic engagement and active citizenship. In a general sense some underlying notion of help underpins all civic participation. Help and helping can be understood as a contribution to the success or achievement of something, to assist and to contribute to. Help and helping includes activities such as organising an event, assisting a neighbour and raising money for a charity or political party. To examine an individual's civic engagement behaviour, in this article we consider the importance an individual attaches to helping other people (the value of help), the extent to which they actually help other people in practice, and their perceptions of the local culture of help. We analyse the European Social Survey using a multilevel approach. This allows us to disentangle country, region and individual level differences and for the inter-relationships of the variables at the different levels to be assessed.

CCSR Paper 2009-08: Acceptable and Unacceptable Migrants: How opposition to immigration is affected by migrants' region of origin - Rob Ford

Comparative European research has established that public opposition to immigration is widespread and politically important. However, most existing research has suffered from a serious methodological shortcoming: it employs aggregate measures of attitudes to immigrants, which do not distinguish between different migrant groups. This paper corrects this shortcoming by examining disaggregated British attitudes to migration from seven different regions. I find evidence for a consistent hierarchy of preferences between immigrant groups, with white and culturally more proximate immigrant groups less opposed than non-white and culturally more distinct immigrants. The differences in attitudes to different migrant groups are very large, calling into question the reliability of analysis which employs aggregate measures of attitudes to overall immigration. Both total opposition to migration and discrimination between migrant groups decline during the period examined. This is the result of large generational differences in attitudes to immigrants, which are in turn the consequence of cohort differences in education levels, ethnic diversity and in particular value orientations. Younger Britons, who are on average less authoritarian and ethnocentric, oppose immigration less and regard different immigrant groups more equally.

CCSR Paper 2009-07: Personal Support Networks of Immigrants to Spain: A Multilevel Approach - Veronica de Miguel, Mark Tranmer

Immigrant flows to Spain have increased in the last decade, but little is known about the composition and role of personal support networks of immigrants to Spain. Our research questions are 1) to what extent are Spaniards, (more settled Spanish residents) present in an immigrants' network, compared with non-Spaniards, such as other recent immigrants? 2) Which factors are associated with ties between immigrants and Spaniards compared with immigrant ties to non-Spaniards? 3) Does the support role of non-Spaniards and Spaniards differ? We analyse personal network data where each immigrant was asked about the role of their support network. Data were collected at two time points: 1) the first three months in Spain since the immigrant arrived, and 2) the six months previous to the survey interview. Multilevel logistic regression models are applied; the dependent variable is whether the immigrant has a tie to a Spaniard alter, as opposed to a non-Spaniard. We determine the characteristics that are most strongly associated with the probability of a tie between an immigrant and a Spaniard, including characteristics of the alters, the immigrants (ego), the relative characteristics of ego-alter, geographical factors and support roles. We use single-level ordered logistic regression models to investigate factors associated with the total number of Spaniards in the support network. Attributes of alters and egos are found to be important in predicting ties between immigrants and Spaniards, and to predict the total number of Spaniards in an immigrant's network, especially the country of origin of the immigrant.

CCSR Paper 2009-06: 'Women Between Part-time Work and Full-time Work: The Influence of Changing Hours of Work on Happiness and Life-Satisfaction', - Gash, V., Mertens, A. and Romeu-Gordo, L. 

This paper asks whether part-time work makes women happy. Previous research on labour supply has assumed that as workers freely choose their optimal working hours on the basis of their innate preferences and the hourly wage rate, outcome reflects preference. This paper tests this assumption by measuring the impact of changes in working-hours on life satisfaction in two countries (the UK and Germany using the German Socio-Economic Panel and the British Household Panel Survey). We find decreases in working-hours bring about positive and significant improvement on well-being for women. Published Article: Gash, V., Mertens, A. and Romeu-Gordo, L. (2012) 'The Influence of Changing Hours of Work on Women's Life-Satisfaction', Manchester School of Economics, EQUALSOC/LOPSI Special Issue. 80(1):51'74.

CCSR Paper 2009-05: Ethnic Differences in Physical Activity and Obesity - Vanessa Higgins and Angela Dale

Obesity has been identified as a risk factor in many health problems, including arthritis, stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In England around a quarter of all adults are classified as obese and projections estimate this will rise to one-third by 2012. This paper uses the Health Survey for England (HSE) to examine ethnic differences in diet, physical activity and obesity in adults. It begins by providing a detailed break-down of differences in levels of obesity and physical activity for men and women in eight major ethnic groups for a nationally representative sample of the adult population of England. It then goes on to use modelling methods to ask whether additional factors related to the individual or the locality explain the differences between ethnic groups on both these outcome measures.

CCSR Paper 2009-04: A comparison of internal migration data derived from the Pupil Level Annual School Census with the National Health Service Central Register and 2001 Census data - Stephen Jivraj and Naomi Marquis

Measuring internal migration is central to understanding demographic trends. However, it is more difficult to measure than other components of population change. In the UK, estimates are usually made using National Health Service Central Register (NHSCR) or decennial Census data. This paper will examine the potential of the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC), a relatively new source of internal migration data that can provide more up to date information than the Census and more detailed socioeconomic and geographical information than the NHSCR. The paper provides an empirical comparison of migration data derived from the PLASC with the NHSCR and 2001 Census during the period 2002 to 2007.

CCSR Paper 2009-03: Preparation of Pupil Level Annual School Census data for the analysis of Internal Migration - Naomi Marquis and Stephen Jivraj

The study of internal migration is central to our understandings of demographic change, but data used to measure migration within the UK are limited. While patient records are useful for studying migration for the population as a whole and by age and sex, they lack other characteristics important in understanding migration. Census data contain socio-economic and ethnic detail, but are limited by decennial collection. A relatively new data source, the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) may provide an alternative measure of internal migration which has the potential to fill some of the gaps left by current methods. This paper begins the process of exploring the usefulness of the PLASC for this purpose by considering the internal quality of the data.

CCSR Paper 2009-02: Settlement area migration in England and Wales: assessing evidence for a social gradient - Gemma Catney, Ludi Simpson

Employing an area classification based on the minority ethnic population and international and internal migration history of districts in England and Wales, it is hypothesised that those most likely to migrate from 'immigrant settlement areas' are those with the greatest economic resources. It is suggested that if migration does vary by level of affluence then a social gradient may be apparent with respect to migration propensity and occupational class membership. Furthermore, if such 'affluent flight' can explain 'racial' migration patterns, then a similar social gradient would be expected for each ethnic group, and a similar probability of migrating for people of common socio-demographic characteristics, irrespective of ethnic group.

CCSR Paper 2009-01: Ethnic Differences in Educational Attainments and Progress Revisited - Ian Plewis

The primary school population in England is becoming ethnically more diverse and differences in educational attainments between ethnic groups continue to be of interest. This paper applies multilevel modelling to an administrative database - the National Pupil Database - to assess the extent of these differences and to compare them with more limited data from the 1980s. It shows that the current national picture hides considerable heterogeneity between schools and that the models for both attainment and progress are complex. The analyses highlight the relative educational success of Chinese pupils and a cause for concern about the attainments of black Caribbean boys. Methodological issues about the categorisation of ethnic groups are discussed.

ISC working papers

ISC Paper 2009-01: Slippery Segregation: Discovering or Manufacturing Ghettos? - Ceri Peach

Controversy exploded in 2005 over a paper at the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers which claimed that ethnic segregation in Britain was increasing, ghettos had formed and some British cities were almost as segregated as Chicago.
The paper asserted that segregation indexes failed to measure segregation and should be abandoned in favour of a threshold schema of concentrations using raw data.
These assertions of ghettoisation were repeated by Trevor Phillips, Director the Commission for Racial Equality, in an inflammatory speech claiming that Britain was sleepwalking into American-style segregation. The argument of my paper is that the index approach is indeed necessary, that ethnic segregation in Britain is decreasing, that the threshold criteria for the claim that British ghettos exist has manufactured ghettos rather than discovered them. A Pakistani ghetto under the Poulsen schema could be 40 per cent Pakistani, 30 per cent White, 20 per cent Indian and 10 per cent Caribbean. In 2000, 60 per cent of Chicago's Blacks lived in a true ghetto of tracts that were 90?100 per cent Black.

ISC Paper 2009-02: A comparative study of social capital and neighbourhood composition in the U.S. and England - Edward Fieldhouse and David Cutts

Recent increases in the scale and diversity of immigration into western democratic industrial nations has lead to a renewed interest in citizen?s responses to ethnic and racial diversity. At the same time, whilst mindful of the economic and cultural contribution of immigrants, governments have been increasingly concerned with the social integration of immigrants and the effects of diversity on social cohesion. We compare incompatible hypotheses regarding diversity stemming from conflict and contact theories. We also consider that the impact of diversity on social capital will be different for majority and minority groups. This has seldom been explored and, as far as we are aware, never in British context. Data from the US Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey and UK Citizenship Survey were used. We found that it is important to consider the unequal effects of diversity on different parts of the population, in particular differentiating between majorities and minorities. Our research supports the argument that recognition of difference is a more effective way for developing social capital than expecting diverse populations to assimilate into a dominant culture.

2008 working papers

CCSR working papers

CCSR Paper 2008-22: Migration selectivity and area-based regeneration in England - Stephen Jivraj

Despite limited evidence, there appears to be a widely held assumption that area-based regeneration programmes lead to selective migration. Many practitioners, policy-makers and evaluators believe that area-based regeneration programmes exacerbate a process whereby less deprived individuals move out of deprived neighbourhoods and disadvantaged individuals move into deprived neighbourhoods. This paper reviews existing evidence and provides an innovative approach to measuring net migration flows for regeneration areas using Pupil Level Annual School Census data for Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Round 2 areas in England.

CCSR Paper 2008-21: Population dynamics: the roles of natural change and migration in producing the ethnic mosaic - Nissa Finney and Ludi Simpson

This paper builds on emerging literature that focuses on processes of population change as a means of understanding the geographies of ethnicity. It argues that persistent assumptions of segregation being the result of the divisive separation of ethnic groups are mistaken. The paper takes a demographic approach, presenting analyses of original estimates of natural change and net migration for eight ethnic groups in Britain over the period 1991-2001, at national and district levels. Major results are the greater significance of natural change than migration for minority ethnic population change, and the accordance of population dynamics with theories of counter-urbanisation and dispersal from areas of minority ethnic concentration. The importance of natural change is illustrated through the presentation of its effects on the index of isolation. The paper concludes that ethnic group population change in Britain can to a large extent be explained by benign and unexceptional demographic processes and ethnically undifferentiated migration patterns.

CCSR Paper 2008-20: Teaching Paper: Binary Logistic Regression - Mark Tranmer, Mark Elliot

CCSR Paper 2008-19: Teaching Paper: Multiple Linear Regression - Mark Tranmer, Mark Elliot

The above link will take you to the first edition from 2008. The second edition from 2020 is available here.

CCSR Paper 2008-18: 'Sacrificing their Careers for their Families? An Analysis of the Family Pay Penalty in Europe', - Gash, V.

This paper examines the extent of and the mechanisms behind the penalty to motherhood in six European countries. Each country provides different levels of support for maternal employment allowing us to determine institutional effects on labour market outcome. The paper's findings confirm those of previous research in the area: mothers tend to earn less than non-mothers. However, the conditions of maternal employment are not the same in all countries, with less evidence of a penalty to motherhood in countries supportive of working mothers. The paper established the United Kingdom and West Germany to have the least policy support for working mothers as well as the largest penalties to motherhood. Gash, V. (2009) 'Sacrificing their Careers for their Families? An Analysis of the Family Pay Penalty in Europe', Social Indicators Research - Special Issue. September 2009, 93(3):569-586.

CCSR Paper 2008-17: Ethnic Differences in Obesity, Diet and Physical Activity - A Literature review - Vanessa Higgins

In England around a quarter of all adults are classified as obese and this is estimated to rise dramatically in the future (Department of Health, 2008; McPherson et al, 2007). Physical activity and healthy eating habits are widely acknowledged as two of the major ways of preventing obesity - the Department of Health has set recommended levels for both and has launched various public education campaigns to encourage the population to meet those levels. Intervention strategies for physical activity and healthy eating need to recognize cultural and gender differences both between and within ethnic groups. This paper provides a literature review of obesity, diet and physical activity among ethnic groups.

CCSR Paper 2008-16: Interrogating Segregation, Integration and the Community Cohesion Agenda - Virinder S. Kalra and Nisha Kapoor

The notion of segregation in its current application in British social policy confuses rather than illuminates social processes. While its historical roots lie in a discriminatory practice that was legally instilled in the US, current day usage implies the self-segregation of minority ethnic groups. This paper examines the historical legacy of segregation in the US and UK to argue a shift has occurred in the discourse surrounding the integration of ethnic minority groups, particularly British Muslims. Any attempt to advocate desegregation as a way to promote material equality has been replaced by its use to promote the removal of cultural difference. Contemporary British social policy has taken this further by advocating the necessity of social capital as a means to achieve community cohesion and shared values, further shifting emphasis away from material difference.

CCSR Paper 2008-15: Oldham and Rochdale: race, housing and community cohesion  - Ludi Simpson, Sameera Ahmed, Debbie Phillips

The report investigates the extent to which housing markets in Oldham and Rochdale are racially segregated, the processes which may lead to residential segregation and the attitudes and behaviour which may affect those processes, focusing in particular on communities of Asian heritage. The report, based on focus groups with White and Asian young adults mostly aged 18-30 and interviews with key stakeholders, develops the understanding gained from previous in-depth analysis of past censuses. (Full paper)

CCSR Paper 2008-14: Ethnic Segregation over time and cohorts in England and Wales, 1991-2001 - Albert Sabater

The study of changing residential patterns of ethnic groups is a key area to inform debates on residential segregation and diversity in urban areas. The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it provides empirical evidence of clear declines in residential segregation between 1991 and 2001 in England and Wales using both census data as published and complete mid-year estimates for the same years. For the analysis, we implement segregation and diversity measures across wards nationally and for sub-national areas. The outcomes highlight marginal changes when complete mid-year estimates are used, which incorporate non-response not included in census output and the harmonisation of the population definition and census geographies. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-13: Sustainable Rural Communities: The case of two UK National Park areas - Alan Marshall and Ludi Simpson

This paper uses projections of population and housing to explore issues of population sustainability in the Cairngorms and Peak District National Parks. The projections demonstrate that if recent trends of births, deaths and migration continue both National Parks will not be sustainable as the younger profile of out-migration relative to in-migration causes populations to become increasingly elderly. Whilst these processes of demographic change are common to many rural areas we demonstrate that the effects of migration and associated population ageing are more extreme within the National Parks than in surrounding areas. Further projection scenarios show that simply building more houses will not prevent the decline in the working-age population. Policies that aim to change the migration age pattern and to cater to the needs of the eto be maintained. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-12: Processing Everything - lessons from comprehensive automate processing of the UK Large Scale Government Surveys - Sam Smith

A common problem when searching repositories for secondary microdata is finding useful data to meet speci?c requirements. Variables are a fundamental building block of data analysis and usage. This paper covers the technical implementation and design of an infrastructure underlying an information and cross-references system for finding variables in each file of the 650 (and growing) large-scale UK Government datasets supported by ESDS Government and the Samples of Anonymised Records (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-11: Variables, Datasets and Finding what you want: Developing Online Search Tools - Anthony Rafferty and Sam Smith

A common problem when searching repositories for secondary microdata is finding useful data to meet speci?c requirements. Variables are a fundamental building block of data analysis and usage. This paper covers the benefits to users from a search system that generates information and cross-references for variables in each file in the 650 (and growing) large-scale UK Government datasets supported by ESDS Government and the Samples of Anonymised Records. Use of broad but highly targeted search combined with the integration of a variety of sources of data, documentation, and metadata facilitates a powerful search platform. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-10: Teaching Paper: fsQCA - Ray Kent

FsQCA (fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis) is a program that uses combinatorial logic, fuzzy set theory and Boolean minimisation to work out what combinations of case characteristics may be necessary or sufficient to produce an outcome. The program, along with a manual and a selection of working papers, is available for free at (Full paper) 

ISC Paper 2008-09: Mapping 'small things' on the Web: Assessing the online presence of the nanotechnology industry - Robert Ackland, Rachel Gibson, Stephen Ward 

This paper uses a new approach to collection and analysis of data from the World Wide Web (WWW) to examine the online networks being built by the nanotechnology industry, the academia and other producers. In particular, we investigate the extent to which the nanotech sector as a whole is engaging with the wider social/public debate over the issue. This is a question of considerable significance, given the furore that greeted biotechnology 'companies' introduction of 'GM' foods, and their apparent failure to anticipate the public backlash over perceived risks to human and environmental health. (Full paper) 

ISC Paper 2008-08: Hyperlinks and horizontal political communication on the WWW: The untold story of parties online - Dr Robert Ackland and Professor Rachel Gibson

This paper investigates political parties' use of a new form of political communication -online horizontal communication through hyperlinks. Specifically, we argue that hyperlinks facilitate a set of new and important communicative functions and have significant implications for parties' online visibility and prominence for voters. These propositions are empirically investigated with hyperlink data gathered from over one hundred parties from six democratic countries using a new research method (and associated software tool) that integrates web mining and data visualization techniques to collect and categorize link data from websites. (Full paper)

CCSR Paper 2008-06: How many elected representatives does local government need? A review of evidence from Europe - Kingsley Purdam, Peter John, Stephen Greasley, Paul Norman

The question of the appropriate number of elected representatives is at the heart of debates about democratic governance, representation and citizen engagement. However, there has only been limited comparative research on the factors and processes involved in determining the number of elected representatives that are suitable for a particular governance structure. In this article we examine the principles and practices informing the size of local government in the UK and other European countries. The issue of the number of elected representatives remains a neglected area of reform and innovation. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-05: Ethnic Differences in graduate over-education in the UK - Anthony Rafferty and Angela Dale

A small number of studies consider whether there are ethnic differences in the UK in the incidence of over-education. Using the SOC (HE), this paper uses a definition of graduate jobs based on qualification concentrations in occupations and job analysis data to examine the incidence of graduate-level over-education by ethnicity. Given that ethnic differences exist in levels of educational attainment, we argue that drawing comparisons between people of equivalent levels of educational attainment, such as graduates, provides a better test of ethnic differences than overall measures which include respondents of all qualification levels. (Full paper)

CCSR Paper 2008-04: SARs Custom Subset Tool - Sam Smith

This discusses the background and implementation behind the SARs Custom Subset Tool, which allows users to download a customised subset of variables from the 2001 Samples of Anonymised Records. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-03: Components of Population Change: An Indirect Method for Estimating Births, Deaths and Net Migration for Age, Sex, Ethnic Group and sub-Regional Areas of Britain, 1991-2001 - Ludi Simpson, Nissa Finney, Susan Lomax

This paper details the method used in the Migration, Race and Population Dynamics project to estimate births, deaths and net migration over the period 1991-2001 for local authority districts of Britain, with sex detail and, for migration, age breakdown by single year. Estimates are needed because little demographic information is available for ethnic groups in Britain. The estimates produced not only provide a demographic breakdown of population change for small areas but are unique because they refer to the intercensal decade and give net migration that includes emigration. They form part of a broader project investigating the demographic drivers of Britain's changing ethnic group geographies. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-02: Migration, marriage and employment amongst Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents in the UK - Angela Dale

Discussion over marriage migration in the UK has largely focussed on the South Asian groups, identi?ed in survey data as Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi. This paper uses qualitative interviews and survey data to gain some insights into how UK-born Pakistani and Bangladeshi women view marriage and, in particular, marriage to a partner from their country of origin; the extent to which UK- born Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women and men marry partners from overseas and the key factors that influence this and the effect on the level of economic activity for Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women of a UK-born versus an or overseas-born spouse. (Full paper) 

CCSR Paper 2008-01: Pakistani and Bangladeshi Women's Labour Market Participation - Sameera Ahmed and Angela Dale

It is well established that Pakistani and Bangladeshi women generally have lower rates of economic activity and higher rates of unemployment compared to other minority ethnic groups and also White women. For example, in 2001-5, levels of economic activity for women aged 19-60 (excluding full-time students) were 31% for Pakistani women and 21% for Bangladeshi women, by comparison with 78% for Black Caribbean women and 77% for White women. Although levels of economic activity are low, unemployment is also high amongst the economically active - 15% for Pakistani and 16% for Bangladeshi women in 2001-5 by comparison with 3.4% for White women for the same time period. The Equal Opportunities Commission has identified 'five employment gaps' which affect Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean women: 1) participation; 2) unemployment; 3) progression; 4) pay, and; 5) occupational segregation. In this paper we will focus on Pakistani and Bangladeshi women to address the first two of these issues - and also provide some insights into the others. We use a combination of national survey data and qualitative interviews.

ISC working papers

ISC Paper 2008-09: Mapping "small things" on the Web: Assessing the online presence of the nanotechnology industry - Robert Ackland, Rachel Gibson, Stephen Ward

This paper uses a new approach to collection and analysis of data from the World Wide Web (WWW) to examine the online networks being built by the nanotechnology industry, the academia and other producers. In particular, we investigate the extent to which the nanotech sector as a whole is engaging with the wider social/public debate over the issue. This is a question of considerable significance, given the furore that greeted biotechnology 'companies' introduction of "GM" foods, and their apparent failure to anticipate the public backlash over perceived risks to human and environmental health.

ISC Paper 2008-08: Hyperlinks and horizontal political communication on the WWW: The untold story of parties online - Dr Robert Ackland & Professor Rachel Gibson

This paper investigates political parties' use of a new form of political communication -online horizontal communication through hyperlinks. Specifically, we argue that hyperlinks facilitate a set of new and important communicative functions and have significant implications for parties' online visibility and prominence for voters. These propositions are empirically investigated with hyperlink data gathered from over one hundred parties from six democratic countries using a new research method (and associated software tool) that integrates web mining and data visualization techniques to collect and categorize link data from websites.