ISMF Education Recodes


The education recodes map the categories of education variables in the source data to scores on a standardized scale of level of education.


Education categories in the source data are recoded into an ordered set of categories on the basis of judgments that draw from documentation in the original source, the advice of experts, and the relationship of the categories to criterion variables, such as occupational status and income.  The resulting hierarchy is then mapped into a “virtual years of schooling” metric, which is closely related (in some files identical) to the number of years it takes competent students to reach a given level.  In many data files, this results in the following metric: 6 for complete primary, 12 for complete higher secondary (university entrance level), 16 for complete university (BA), but these “anchor points” are adjusted to local educational systems. Other levels are expressed in this metric using interpolation.


In some instances, we have mapped a single source variable into the new levels variables via a one-to-one recode.  However, in some cases we have combined information from several variables in the source data to assign scores to the levels variable.