Measuring Socioeconomic Status

5. How SES is Measured

Exercise 3

This exercise asks the user to identify advantages and disadvantages of different potential proxy measures of socioeconomic status. 

Instructions:
For each of the potential proxy measures of SES, identify one advantage and one disadvantage and place one of each with the appropriate measure.

Advantages:
Relatively simple, easy to measure way to capture ability to purchase desired resources
Status is maintained over economic shocks (like job loss)
Can be determined for all individuals
Captures the richness of the latent SES measure

Disadvantages:
Can be volatile, fluctuate throughout the year and throughout a lifetime
Difficult to measure
Decreasing variability relative to some other measures
Requires residential address information

Proxy measures of SES:
Income
Wealth
Educational attainment
Area/contextual level measures

Answers:
Income
[Advantage: Relatively simple, easy to measure way to capture ability to purchase desired resources]
[Disadvantage: Can be volatile, fluctuate throughout the year and throughout a lifetime]

Wealth
[Advantage: Status is maintained over economic shocks (like job loss)]
[Disadvantage: Difficult to measure]

Educational attainment
[Advantage: Can be determined for all individuals]
[Disadvantage: Decreasing variability relative to some other measures]

Area/contextual level measures
[Advantage:  Captures the richness of the latent SES measure]
[Disadvantage:  Requires residential address information]