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Building the cumulative ESS dataset

This script allows you to combine each round of the European Social Survey into one cumulative dataset, with harmonized variables for basic demographics and vote recall.

Features

  1. Harmonized vote recall variable: Vote recall is originally measured in the ESS with a country-round specific variable. For example, the variable prtvtcgb corresponds to the vote choice for respondents in the United Kingdom surveyed for ESS Round 9. This script coalesces these country-round specific variables into one generalized variable, by linking the ESS codes to the Partyfacts ID.

  2. Linking party IDs to external datasets: This code also provides an example of how to merge in information from other party-level datasets. In this case, we use the Partyfacts IDs to link to the Manifesto Project data, which provides the party families. I also use Denis Cohen's useful crosswalk to help determine the "reference election" when respondents are asked to recall their vote. This allows us to merge in party-election specific variables from the Manifesto Project, like the right-left coding of a particular manifesto.

  3. Harmonized variables for basic demographics: Educational attainment is measured by the variable edulvla for ESS Rounds 1-4, and by the variable edulvlb for ESS rounds 5-9. In this script we create an single indicator for whether the respondent has a bachelor's degree or above, across all rounds.

  4. Coding occupational class using the Oesch schema: This script also adds a variable for social class using Oesch's simplified occupation-class crosswalk. The supplementary script oesch_class_crosswalks.R provides an easy way to access Oesch's Excel files in R without any manual editing.

Getting started

In order to run the script build_cumulative_core_ESS.R you first need to register your email address with the ESS. This allows you to download ESS data using the R package essurvey. You will need to fill in your registered email address in the essurvey::set_email() function.

If you would like to link the party ID's to the Manifesto dataset, you will also need to register an account with the Manifesto Project. Once you have registered, you can login and go to your profile page to generate an API key. Fill in your API key in the manifestoR::mp_setapikey() function.

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Code to build a cumulative dataset from European Social Survey Rounds 1-9, with basic demographics and vote intention.

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