IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Kosten und Nutzen der Sparsamkeit: zur Erhebung sozialer Netzwerke und sozialer Unterstützungspotentiale in der Umfrageforschung

Listed author(s):
  • Sebastian Sattler
  • Martin Diewald

Measuring ego-centered networks is an especially time-expensive endeavor. However, to be included in multi-thematic surveys, parsimony is needed instead of following a maximizing strategy. Therefore, one pressing questions is, whether and which type of parsimonious data collection produces what losses of information. We address these questions by comparing three different, but closely related operationalizations of ego-centered networks in three different surveys: the German Socio-Economic Panel Study as a multi-thematic large-scale survey, IDUN as a small study designed as a single-purpose instrument to measure egocentered networks in great detail, and the "Minipanel" as something in between these two. Different setup parameters are the number and type of name generators and descriptors of alteri and a numerical limitation of naming ties. We look specifically whether there are effects on the size of the networks, the composition of networks, andthe sociostructural differences with regard to availability of positive aspects of social networks, especially different types of social support. Additionally, we examine the differences between effects of network variables on perceived satisfaction in the surveys. Among others, and above the highly expectable differences in network size, we find an effect of different operationalizations on the network composition. Compared to IDUN, GSOEP produces a considerable overestimation of family ties and a considerable underestimation of relations stemming from school, vocational training and leisure time. We show that specific strategies of parsimony not only lead to losses of information and distortions of network characteristics but can lead in addition to different conclusions about the availability of social capital.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 165.

in new window

Length: 38 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp165
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin

Phone: xx49-30-89789-671
Fax: xx49-30-89789-109
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. John F. Helliwell, 2006. "Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What's New?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 34-45, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. SOEP based publications

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp165. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.