International Survey Center

Surveys and statistical analysis in many nations

Academic, scientific, unbiased, non-profit

The International Survey Center conducts research on social, economic and political issues using survey data from large, representative national samples from many nations. Most of our work is addressed to sociologists, economists and political scientists; it is based on rigorous multivariate statistical methods and is regularly published in sociology's leading academic journals (examples). We also do commissioned  surveys and reports (details). Much of our data is freely available. ISC principals are Professor Jonathan Kelley (Director; Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and previously Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Senior Fellow at the Australian National University); Professor Krzysztof Zagorski (Kozminski University, Warsaw; formerly at the University of Melbourne), and Dr Joanna Sikora (Australian National University).

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Would you like to help out by taking our latest Developmental Survey?

Our latest Developmental Survey is on-line. Its purpose is to develop and pretest ideas for the next national survey. It covers a mixed bag of topics, especially sex, marriage, inequality, and politics. Also some things of particular interest to university students. It is an interesting survey. It takes about 25 minutes -- perhaps 15 minutes if you are quick or 35 if you take your time.

If you would like to help out by taking the survey, we would be delighted. Just click through on this link. Thanks! 



"Human Gains and Losses from Global Warming:
Satisfaction with the Climate in the USA,
Winter and Summer, North and South"

Social Indicators Research (accepted for publication subject to specified revisions)

Jonathan Kelley

The scientific understanding of the causes of global warming is based on a vast body of rigorous, peer-reviewed research but there is not nearly as much systematic empirical evidence on consequences for humans. Using direct questions about satisfaction with winter and summer weather, we show that warming's effects can be reliably estimated from survey data and have a major impact on subjective well-being. Combining a US national survey (N=2295) and standard National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data on actual month-by-month temperatures at each location, we find that changes to be expected from the widely discussed, allegedly "dangerous" two degrees Celsius of global warming are both familiar and small. They are equivalent to moving from Wisconsin to Michigan, or Virginia to North Carolina, or more generally 180 miles south. Such warming will greatly increase Americans' satisfaction with winter weather, especially in the north, and somewhat decrease satisfaction with summer weather in both north and south. On balance the nation benefits slightly. Regional differences are large, with northerners' gains roughly equivalent to a 4% to 6% increase in their GDP, while southerners losses are about the same. These changes are important, in and of themselves about as large as the combined financial implications of all other aspects of global warming. They have important policy implications, suggesting that prompt action to reduce carbon emissions may not be optimal as that would restrict warming both in the summer and in the south (gains) but also in the winter and in the north (losses).

The (not yet revised) version of the paper is available here.


"US Attitudes Towards Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research"

Nature Biotechnology (June 2011. 29(6):484-488 )

MDR Evans and Jonathan Kelley.

Based on data from a large, representative national sample, we find that the American public has distinct attitudes toward (A) cloning animals, (B) cloning humans, (C) curing serious diseases by therapeutic cloning or using embryonic stem cells, (D) curing them using adult stem cells, and (E) using any of these techniques for cosmetic purposes. They are strongly opposed to some, have mixed feelings about others, and strongly support all that offer hope of curing serious diseases. US government policy is broadly in accord with public opinion but with one striking exception: Funding for research on therapeutic cloning has long been banned. Nonetheless, public opinion strongly supports it. In a democratic society, deferring to objections from a small (mainly religious) minority and limiting research that has so much therapeutic promise may well be unethical..


Full text available at

Data for reanalysis in a convenient and well-documented form, together with a full specification of all analyses in the paper, are freely available [here].


 Table S8. Oblique factor loadings: Principal axis factor analysis with oblimin rotation. See the Text Table for item identification. Loadings under .25 are in grey type. N= 2109. USA 1999. [1]
Factor Clone animals Clone humans Therapeutic cloning Stem cells from an IVF embryo Stem cells from an adult (iPS cells) Cosmetic goals (youthful)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Factor A (Clone animals) .94 .87 .05 -.03 .08 .08 .04 .01 .01 .01 .02 .06 .05 .10 .07 .08
Factor B (Clone humans) -.03 .03 .89 1.0 .02 -.01 .06 .03 .01 .04 .04 -.01 .00 .14 .13 .09
Factor C (Therapeutic & IVF) .00 -.01 -.01 -.01 .84 .87 .62 .87 .90 .60 .12 .23 -.04 .29 .24 -.25
Factor D (Adult iPS) -.02 .00 .01 -.01 .05 .04 .00 .10 .10 .02 .90 .80 .68 -.08 -.07 .44
Factor E (Cosmetic) -.03 .01 -.01 -.02 -.02 -.02 .36 .00 -.04 .43 -.05 -.13 .35 .64 .73 .67
     [1] A corresponding confirmatory factor analysis is shown in the text table.




International Social Science Survey


This was our 21st large national survey. The first was in 1984.

Warmest thanks to survey respondents!


International Survey of Economic Attitudes

The International Survey of Economic Attitudes (ISEA) is a collaborative international project which conducts occasional surveys in half a dozen nations, each based on large, representative national samples. The first round was in 1991-1993 (Australia, Hungary, Poland) and the second round in 1994-1997 (Australia, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, and the Netherlands). The third round is in the planning stage. Jonathan Kelley and Krzysztof Zagorski are the principal investigators. We welcome new members.


International Social Survey Project (ISSP):  Inequality-Round 4

The fourth round of the ISSP Inequality Module is available for analysis (see It is a very nice data set -- although our view may be somewhat biased as we (Kelley  and Evans) chaired the Design Committee for the first three rounds of the project! Here is the Design Committee's document. Among other things it lays out the logic behind the questionnaire, in particular what concepts the attitude items are intended to measure.


J. Kelley and M.D.R. Evans (Australia, convenors),
P. Mateju (Czech Republic),
K. Knudsen and K. Skjak (Norway),
B. Cichomski and P. Morawski (Poland) and
B. Malnar (Slovenia). 1998.
"Analytic Guide to the International Social Survey Programme 1999 Inequality Questionnaire"
Download it here



Notes on Question Wording
Perceived Earnings & Legitimate Earnings of Occupations...45
Relative Inequality.....51
Legitimate Bases of Reward.....52

Legitimate Returns to Human Capital.....56
Fairness of Your Earnings.....59
Images of Class (Pyramid Diagrams).....62
Subjective Social Class – Now & 10 Years Ago.....67
Class Conflict.....70
Family Background Items.....72
Evaluation of Changes in the Economic System.....77
Norms About Equal Opportunities and Equal Outcomes.....83
Actual Discrimination.....89
Perceptions of Discrimination: Poor, Women & Minorities.....91
Getting Ahead: Perceptions, Attributions.....97
Perception -- Crime, Dishonesty Needed to Get Ahead.....102
Subjective Social Mobility.....104
Perceived & Legitimate Earnings: Clerk, Shopkeeper...106
Non-Monetary Goods.....107
Alternative Form of Pyramid Questions (See Section 6)....112


Some of our papers using earlier rounds of the ISSP Inequality data (for personal scholarly use only):

"Images of Class: Public Perceptions in Hungary and Australia." American Sociological Review
"The Legitimation of Inequality: Occupational Earnings in Nine Nations." American Journal of Sociology

"Class and Class Conflict in Six Western Nations." American Sociological Review

"Public Perceptions of Class Conflict in 21 Nations" in Tos, Mohler and Malnar (editors) Modern Society and Values

"Economic Change and the Legitimation of Inequality: The Transition From Socialism to the Free Market." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility

"Subjective Social Location: Data from 21 Nations." International Journal of Public Opinion Research

"Population Size, Economic Development, and Attitudes Towards Inequality: Evidence from 30 Nations" Population Review

"Economic Development Reduces Tolerance for Inequality" and

"Subjective Social Mobility: Data from 30 Nations" both

 in Haller, Jowell, and  Smith (editors)  Charting the Globe: The International Social Survey Programme 1984-2009

"Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Evidence From 27 Nations." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility

"Justifications of Inequality: The Normative Basis of Pay Differentials in 31 Nations." Social Science Quarterly



Many older ISSS datasets are freely available for academic and teaching use, subject to a few conditions. The data cover a wide variety of topics, especially in sociology, demography, labor economics, and political science.  The data are available for downloading here. They are SPSS "portable" files, which are easily read by most other statistical analysis programs. Codebooks are also available here.

Especially useful are the 2AF Secondary Analysis Files from several of our cross-national projects. These data have been carefully worked over to make them comparable between nations and to make them user-friendly, so that secondary analysis is very easy. The two sets so far available are spin-offs of our articles. They document the analyses in the articles as well as including a variety of other variables suitable for further analyses.


Recent ISSS surveys are mostly subject to a data access fee, which we use to support our ongoing survey research program.


Student's Corner

Why is education rewarded? During the twentieth century, educational levels have risen dramatically throughout the developed world. Students, parents, and governments all invest time, energy, and money in education at least in part in order that young people learn the skills needed in the complex jobs typical of modern economies and thus will be able to earn the higher pay that those jobs provide. The best estimates suggest that rewards to an extra year of education in industrial societies are in the order of 5 per cent to 15 per cent.

But how much education do different jobs actually require? Do educated people earn higher incomes because they are more productive employees as a result of their education? Or are the rewards to education less to do with productivity and more to do with the acquisition of social credentials?  This is our answer.


Education and pay. Introductory lecture (PowerPoint)




"Influence of Scientific Worldviews on Attitudes toward Organ Transplants:
National Survey Data from the United States

in Progress in Transplantation 24(2) June, in press

  M.D.R. Evans and Jonathan Kelley.

Context — Public acceptance of routine medical procedures is nearly universal but there is often controversy over dramatic or invasive procedures like transplants.

Objectives —To assess the distributions and organization of public opinion on organ transplantation (descriptive statistics and cfa) and to discover the magnitude of the direct and indirect impacts of religion, scientific knowledge, and acceptance of evolution on individuals' support for organ transplantation (structural effects in SEM).

Participants — A representative sample of the US adult, English-speaking population in 2009; N = 2069.

Intervention — Participants were administered the International Social Science Survey/USA 2009.

Results— (1) Organ transplants were warmly endorsed by most Americans in 2009, as in earlier years, but support is not universal. CFA shows that: (2) Americans' opinions on heart, kidney and pancreatic transplants all reflect one underlying attitude – an attitude towards major organ transplants. Structural effects from SEM show that (3) Scientific knowledge is the most important influence on these attitudes, with the knowledgeable more supportive. (5) Acceptance the theory of evolution is the second most important factor, also increasing support. (6) Having been raised in a churchgoing family encourages people to support organ transplantation, net of other influences. Otherwise denomination and religious belief have only small and indirect influences. (7) Demographic differences are small.

Conclusions — These results give some clues about future trends. If there is a religious revival, that is not likely to alter support for transplants. But if public knowledge of science continues to increase, or acceptance of the theory of evolution grows, that will likely increase support.  



Figure 1: Attitudes toward organ transplantation in the American public in 2009. Percent distributions; N=2069 cases.


Details on the analysis





"Beware of feedback effects among trust, risk and public opinion:

Quantitative estimates of rational versus emotional influences on attitudes toward genetic modification"

in Environmental Economics 5(4): forthcoming (2014)

 Jonathan Kelley

Support for genetic modification in agriculture mainly stems from approval of food and agricultural goals. It is facilitated by trust in the judgment of scientific authorities and undermined by anxiety about the risks involved. But there are symptoms of danger: Any public opinion data that show significant correlations between perceptions of fact (risk, trust etc.) and background characteristics (age, sex, religion, politics) or goals (environmental, medical, economic) typically reflect emotional feedback effects as well as rational scientific ones. Estimates from regression are then biased and more complex models required. Our structural equation analyses of five large, representative national surveys of Australia (N = 8730) provide precise estimates of the magnitude of these effects, including reciprocal effects reflecting emotional influences. We also find that: (1) acceptance of the scientific worldview modestly increases support both directly and also indirectly through its influence on trust; (2) family socio-economic background increases knowledge of genetic engineering but is otherwise inconsequential; and (3) religious belief greatly hinders acceptance of the scientific worldview and slightly increases anxiety about risks. 

(For the paper Google: Environmental Economics )

(The on-line supplement to the paper is available here)

(The 1995 report to the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, Commonwealth of Australia, that started this line of research is here)






"A Clash of Civilizations? Preferences for Religious Political Leaders in 86 Nations" 

in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50(4):671–691 (2011)

 Nate Breznau, Valerie Lykes, Jonathan Kelley, and M.D.R. Evans.

Huntington claimed that today’s major conflicts aremost likely to erupt between religiously defined “civilizations,” in particular between Christianity and Islam. Using World Values Surveys from 86 nations, we examine differences between Christians and Muslims in preferences for religious political leaders. The results suggest a marked difference between Muslims and Christians in their attitudes toward religious politicians, with Muslims more favorable by 20 points out of 100. Devoutness, education, degree of government corruption, and status as a formerly Communist state account for the difference. Little support is found for the clash-of-civilizations hypothesis. Instead, we find that a clash of individual beliefs—between the devout and the secular—along with enduring differences between the more developed and less developed world explains the difference between Islam and Christianity with regards to preferences for religious political leaders. 

(PDF available here, for private scholarly use only)


Variables Political leaders believe in God Political leaders strong religion Religious person Prayer / meditation Importance of religion Importance of God
Scale items:            
Political leaders believe in God 1.00          
Political leaders strong religion .53 1.00        
Religious person .18 .25 1.00      
Prayer / meditation .27 .30 .38 1.00    
Importance of religion .44 .41 .35 .45 1.00  
Importance of God .32 .32 .37 .47 .53 1.00
Selected criterion variables:            
Education -.14 -.12 -.08 -.06 -.14 -.08
Income -.09 -.08 -.04 -.05 -.08 -.05
Year of survey .07 .07 -.02 .08 .09 .11
Formerly Communist -.13 -.04 .05 -.11 -.22 -.14
Government: Honest, not corrupt -.39 -.30 -.12 -.17 -.38 -.28
Factor loadings (oblique rotation)            
Factor 1 -.03 .08 .61 .66 .60 .74
Factor 2 .79 .67 -.05 -.03 .18 -.02
[1] For correlations, the number of cases varies depending on missing data, ranging from 82,970 to 102,996. The factor analysis is based on 75,952 cases with complete information on all scale items.





"Justifications of Inequality: The Moral Basis of Pay Differentials in 31 Nations"  

in Social Science Quarterly 91(5):1405-1431. (2010)

  M.D.R. Evans, Jonathan Kelley, and Clayton Peoples.

Objectives. We investigate social consensus and dissensus within and between nations in three important justifications for pay differences: family needs, performance on the job, and education/authority. Methods. Data are from 31 nations and 66,777 individual respondents analyzed using structural equation and multi-level regression methods with multiple imputation of missing data. Results. In poor countries but not in rich, most believe that family needs legitimate higher pay. Within countries – particularly English-speaking ones – low SES groups endorse family needs but high SES groups reject them. Valuing performance and effort is widespread throughout the world and throughout all segments of society, high and low. Education and authority are widely valued, more in poor nations than in rich, with some demographic differences but few socio-economic cleavages. Conclusions. There is conflict both within nations and between as to whether need and education/authority justify unequal pay, but consensus that performance on the job does justify it. 

 (PDF available here, for private scholarly use only)




"Economic Development Reduces Tolerance for Inequality: A Comparative Analysis of 33 Nations"

in Charting the Globe: The International Social Survey Programme 1984-2009

edited by Max Haller, Roger Jowell and Tom Smith. London: Routledge (2009).

Jonathan Kelley and M.D.R. Evans

Do conceptions of just rewards vary with economic development? To investigate this question we use the 1999-2000 "Inequality-III" round of the International Social Science Project together with other data in the World Inequality Study. There are 30 countries and 19 568 individual respondents in the full-time labor force. We measure inequality by the Gini coefficient for the general public's report of the legitimate earnings for their own occupation. OLS and multilevel analyses show patterns of influences very similar to those found in earlier research, with one striking exception. By far the most important influence, not previously documented across so many countries, is the prosperity of the nation: people in poor nations are much more accepting of inequality than are people in prosperous nations. If this cross-sectional pattern reflects developmental trends, as is likely, then it seems that economic development creates equalitarian attitudes. However, true egalitarianism is not held as ideal in any country, and so is not an appropriate goal for public policy. Instead the ideal level of inequality differs among countries. These ideals are a more appropriate benchmark for policy. We suggest that these benchmarks, available here for 150 nations, should be the starting point for future assessments of income inequality.

Preprint available on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at:

Table 4.6. Legitimate inequality in earnings for many nations: Gini coefficients. Entries based on survey data are in bold face type; others are estimates as described in the text. Also actual inequality in earnings where available, for comparison. Full-time workers only.
  Gini: Legi-timate Gini: Actual     Gini: Legi-timate Gini: Actual     Gini: Legi-timate Gini: Actual
Sweden .15 .19   Croatia .30                   Iraq .35                
Norway .16 .22   Saudi Arabia .30                   Senegal .35                
Cyprus (Greek) .17 .24   West Bank & Gaza .30                   Poland .35 .36
Denmark .18                   Yugoslavia .30                   Syrian Arab Rep .35                
Kuwait .18                   Lesotho .31                   Angola .35                
United Arab Emr .18                   Bulgaria .31 .39   Niger .36                
Spain .19 .24   Lebanon .31                   Cambodia .36                
Netherlands .19 .26   Korea, Rep (South) .31                   Peru .36                
Hong Kong, China .19                   Paraguay .31                   Burkina Faso .36                
Singapore .20                   Jordan .31                   Mali .36                
Switzerland .20 .25   Mongolia .31                   Malawi .36                
Belgium .20                   Mauritania .31                   Colombia .36                
Germany-East .21 .24   Albania .31                   Algeria .36                
Ireland .21                   Turkmenistan .32                   Sri Lanka .36                
Finland .21                   Congo, Rep .32                   Cameroon .36                
Puerto Rico .21                   El Salvador .32                   Cote D'ivoire .36                
Northern Ireland .22 .27   Liberia .32                   Madagascar .37                
Austria .22 .19   Argentina .32                   Ghana .37                
Australia .23 .29   Armenia .32                   Morocco .37                
United Kingdom .23 .27   Papua New Guinea .32                   Thailand .37                
Slovenia .23 .28   Moldova .32                   Yemen .37                
Oman .23                   Central Afr Rep .32                   Mozambique .37                
Canada .24 .24   Nicaragua .32                   Uzbekistan .37                
Czech Republic .24 .27   Tunisia .33                   Turkey .37                
New Zealand .24 .26   Dominican Republic .33                   Uganda .38                
Taiwan .25                   Kyrgyzstan .33                   Mexico .38                
Mauritius .25                   Belarus .33                   Korea Dem (North) .38                
Germany-West .25 .28   Togo .33                   Nepal .38                
Trinidad .25                   Eritrea .33                   Sudan .38                
Gabon .26                   Cuba .33                   Afghanistan .38                
Slovakia .26 .30   Honduras .33                   Iran .38                
Estonia .26                   Malaysia .33                   Ukraine .38                
Italy .27                   Georgia .33                   Kenya .39                
Botswana .27                   Lao PDR .33                   Tanzania .39                
Latvia .27 .36   Sierra Leone .34                   Egypt .39                
Greece .27                   Guatemala .34                   Myanmar .40                
United States .27 .32   Guinea .34                   Congo, Dem  Rep .40                
Japan .27 .33   Bolivia .34                   Philippines .41 .47
Namibia .27                   Tajikistan .34                   Ethiopia .41                
Uruguay .27                   Benin .34                   Viet Nam .41                
Portugal .28 .35   Romania .34                   Pakistan .42                
Costa Rico .28                   South Africa .34                   Bangladesh .43                
Hungary .29 .29   Azerbaijan .34                   Brazil .43 .40
Macedonia .29                   Chile .34 .44   Nigeria .43                
Panama .29                   Venezuela .34                   Indonesia .43                
Libya .29                   Haiti .34                   Russia .45 .41
Gambia .29                   Somalia .34                   India .48                
Bosnia & Herz .29                   Ecuador .35                   China .48                
Israel .29                   Burundi .35                        
Guinea-Bissau .29                   Kazakhstan .35                        
Lithuania .30                   Rwanda .35                        
Jamaica .30                   Chad .35                        
France .30 .29   Zimbabwe .35                        
[1] In other studies, inequality is more commonly measured for family income rather than for individual earnings, and for all respondents rather than only for full-time workers. Such figures are normally higher than the figures shown here. Full-time is defined as working 30 hours or more.
Source: Bold face entries are from the World Inequality Study; other entries are projected from those using coefficients from an OLS regression predicting legitimate inequality in earnings on the basis of  ln population size and GNP per capita.





“Consequences of Divorce for Childhood Education: Australia, Canada, and the USA, 1940–1990."

Comparative Sociology 8(1): 105–146. 2009.

MDR Evans, Jonathan Kelley, and Richard Wanner.

Parental divorce imposes a small but significant educational disadvantage on American children. Does this generalize across nations and over time? We analyze representative national samples from Australia (n=29,443) and Canada (n=28,266), together with US General Social Survey data (n=32,380). Using OLS and logistic regression with robust standard errors, we estimate models controlling many potentially confounding variables. Divorce costs seven-tenths of a year of education, mainly by reducing secondary school completion. Importantly, it has become more damaging in recent cohorts. Because this holds in all three nations, the explanation probably lies in common circumstances of, and parallel changes in, modern industrial societies.

Preprint available on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at:


"Support for Mothers' Employment at Home: Conflict between Work and Family"

International Journal of Public Opinion Research 21: 98-110. 2009
Earlier versions were presented to the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. Montreal, Canada
and the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal, Canada.

S.M.C. Kelley, C.G.E. Kelley, M.D.R. Evans, and Jonathan Kelley. 

The conflict between family life and paid work outside the home creates difficult trade-offs. In most developed nations, few men or women think that mothers with young children are best off working full-time. But another alternative reduces the conflict: paid work at home. Data from a large representative national sample of Australia (n=1324) show that public support for maternal employment is fully 30 percentage points greater if the work is done at home. This difference is even larger for those who believe that there is great conflict between work and family, but vanishes for those who see little conflict. Structural equation analyses show significant social differences in levels of support, mainly reflecting different perceptions of conflict between work and family.

Preprint available on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at:



“Trends in Women’s Labor Force Participation in Australia: 1984-2002”

Social Science Research 37(1):287-310. 2008.

MDR Evans and Jonathan Kelley. 

Women’s workforce participation increased strongly over the 1980s and 1990s, especially among middle aged wives. Multivariate analysis of IsssA data (N=9412) reveals large compositional changes and a trend for succeeding cohorts of women to work more than their predecessors, but few if any period effects. Among the compositional changes, rising women’s education and falling fertility substantially elevate women’s workforce participation and hours worked. No clear time effects were associated with particular policy initiatives. Importantly, interaction tests suggest that the effects of education and of family situation have not changed over time. Finally, family of origin and religiosity have both direct and indirect effects.

Available in libraries and from the publisher



"Economic Change and the Legitimation of Inequality:
The Transition From Socialism to the Free Market in Poland and Hungary, 1987-1994."

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. (Vol. 22) 2005

Jonathan Kelley and Krzysztof Zagorski.

This article takes advantage of a unique historical opportunity, the transformation of Central-East Europe with the collapse of Communism, to address a fundamental question in the social justice-equity-legitimation research tradition: how strong is the link between a nation's economy and its citizens' normative judgments concerning income inequality? We argue (1) that the transition from a socialist economy to a free market economy should increase normative support for income inequality; (2) that to the extent that people perceive differences in pay actually to be large, they will believe more inequality to be morally legitimate; and (3) that normative support for income inequality will be higher among better educated people and among those in higher status jobs. We find that normative support for inequality increased dramatically. In Communist times the Polish and Hungarian publics favored less inequality than citizens of Western nations thought right; but within a decade after the fall of Communism they favored much more inequality than Westerners think right. These normative changes did not arise from socioeconomic or demographic change in population structure but in large part from perceived changes in actual income inequality. Our data are from the World Inequality Study, which pools data from the International Social Survey Programme and other projects; there are 18 representative national samples in six Central-East Europe nations (N=23,260) and, for comparison, 32 in Western nations (N=39,956).


Download working paper (460k PDF)


“Subjective Social Location: Data from 21 Nations.”

International Journal of Public Opinion Research. 16(1):3-38. 2004.

MDR Evans and Jonathan Kelley.

This paper investigates subjective social status using data from surveys collected from representative nationwide samples in 21 countries (N= 50,955). We find that in all societies there is a pronounced tendency to see oneself as in the middle of the social hierarchy; that this tendency holds among those at the top and bottom of the educational distribution, as well as among those actually in the middle; and that this tendency holds in rich nations as well as poor ones. The objective position of individuals, the wealth of nations, and the national level of unemployment all have substantial effects on subjective status. But their effects are muted by the tendency to see oneself as in the middle of the hierarchy. This has important implications for class identity and democracy.

Available in libraries and from the publisher

  Australian Economy and Society 2002: 
Religion, Morality, and Public Policy in International Perspective, 1984-2002 

MDR Evans and Jonathan Kelley

Sydney: Federation Press, 2004.  Pps xii + 375.  (Hardback/ ISBN 1862874514). 

Published 2004. Based on survey data from 1984 to 2002.  27,000 cases in Australia; more in  dozens of other nations.

This second volume in the Australian Economy and Society series focuses on attitudes, beliefs, and values. It is especially about worldviews and their effects on moral stances and public policy attitudes.

Religion, abortion, and sexuality were among the topics we asked about in the first IsssA survey in 1984. Since then, our IsssA surveys have replicated these questions and have developed new questions exploring attitudes towards genetic engineering of crops, research and treatment using foetal stem cells, cloning of people and animals, xenografts, cord blood usage, and both somatic and germ-line genetic therapy for humans. On all these questions, the IsssA provides a series of surveys of large, representative national samples, with over 27,000 cases for the longest-running series.

We open by describing the root causes of many other attitudes and values --religious belief in Australia, denominational differences, the transmission of religious belief from parent to child, attitudes toward evolution and the scientific worldview. Our aim is to discover to what extent people apply their traditional moral toolkits to assess the good and evil in these moral issues, both old and new, and to what degree they use different approaches or turn to different authorities. Using powerful multivariate statistics, we seek to discover the extent to which Australians’ moral views are rooted in family background, social structure, religion, and attitudes to science; to what degree they are influenced by formal education and scientific knowledge; to what extent they are instead based on deference to religious, medical, or scientific authorities; to what extent they reflect consequentialist reasoning about the outcomes; and to what degree they spring deductively from the worldviews themselves. We have also studied the ramifications into charity, national goals, and the links between religion and politics.

We find that money, self-interest, status, and power have little sway over these attitudes. Rather the data tell tales of beliefs and values; tales featuring priests and scientists; contrasting tales told by religion about the centrality of mankind in a world created by God, with tales told by science about the vastness of the universe and the evolution of our species by means of natural selection.

Table of contents.

Introduction (160k PDF)


Authors and contributors:

MDR Evans
Jonathan Kelley
with contributions by Nan Dirk de Graaf, Bruce Headey, Joanna Sikora and Esmail D. Zanjani

To get the book:

Australia: Available from booksellers or order directly from Federation Press for Australian $70 +  postage and handling. There is a schools only price of $40. 

North America: Order from Wm W Gaunt & Sons.

UK & Europe: Order from Willan Publishing

New Zealand: Order from Dunmore Press

Worcester Prize 2003
The World Association for Public Opinion Research
presented their Worcester Prize for the year's best article in the 
International Journal of Public Opinion Research
National Pride in the Developed World: Survey Data from 24 Nations

M.D.R. Evans and Jonathan Kelley

Congratulations are also due to the International Social Survey Program's Drafting Committee which designed the survey (Professor Max Haller chaired the design committee) and to the survey groups belonging to the ISSP who conducted the surveys in 24 nations.


International Journal of Public Opinion Research 14(3): 303-338

Australian Economy and Society 2001: Education, Work and Welfare. 
MDR Evans and Jonathan Kelley
Sydney: Federation Press, 2002. Pps vi + 330.  (Hardback/ ISBN 1862873887). 

Published October, 2002. Data from 1984 to 2001 for Australia, with over 25,000 cases; more from dozens of other nations.

This book analyzes Australian economy and society, emphasizing changes over time, comparisons between social groups, and comparisons to other nations. We present our findings in a clear, concise and, we hope, readable style. However the results underpinning our findings are authoritative: reflecting rigorous, quantitative analyses by ourselves and other established academics, peer reviewed, and based on our large, representative national sample surveys of Australia and other nations. 

This first volume concerns education, work, and welfare in Australia over the last decades of the 20th century - topics that might be called "economic sociology", or "social economics", or "public policy". We begin with education, children's "work" of acquiring skills they will use to earn their living as adults. Next we explore the nature of work, the evolution industrial relations, and the links between work, public policy, welfare, and politics. Our analyses of these different topics are unified by common themes that run through the different topics, by a common methodological strategy, and by a shared source of survey evidence.

With  contributions by Peter Dawkins, Bruce Headey, Ben Jensen, Peter Krause, Craig Littler, Joanna Sikora, Maria Rebecca Valenzuela, Elizabeth Webster, and Krzysztof Zagorski

Table of contents.

To get the book:

Australia: Available from booksellers or  directly from Federation Press for Australian $70 + postage and handling. There is a schools only price of $40. RRP at better booksellers is $75.

North America: Order from Wm W Gaunt & Sons.

UK & Europe: Order from Willan Publishing

New Zealand: Order from Dunmore Press


"Public Opinion on Britain, a Directly Elected President, and an Australian Republic:  22 Years of Survey Evidence" 

Pps 113-130 and 243-252 in

Constitutional Politics: The Republic Referendum and the Future

(John Warhurst and Malcolm Mackerras, eds.) University of Queensland Press. 2002 

 Jonathan Kelley, M.D.R. Evans, Malcolm Mearns and Bruce Headey.



Available from booksellers or directly from University of  Queensland Press. 

"Attitudes to Private and Public Ownership in East and West: Bulgaria, Poland, Australia and Finland, 1994/97.

The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 26(1):13-46. 2002

Joanna Sikora and Jonathan Kelley

   Available now in libraries and from the publisher 

Strong Public Support for Treatment and Research Using Fetal Tissue,
Particularly Among Those Accepting the Scientific World-View

 Stem Cell Research and Development 11:711-717. 2002

MDR Evans, Esmail Zanjani and Jonathan Kelley

Available in libraries and from the publisher 

"When Human Life Begins: Public Perceptions."

Australian Social Monitor 5(1): 15-20.  2002.

Jonathan Kelley and M.D.R. Evans.

Extended with new data and reprinted in abbreviated form as
 "When Does Human Life Begin?"
 Australasian Science 23(9): 27-29.

Available now in libraries and from the publisher 


"Moral Views on the Use of Foetal Tissue Depend on the Source of the Cells."

Australian Social Monitor 5(3): 57-67. 2002.

Extended and reprinted in abbreviated form as

"Harvesting Foetal Tissue: Public Support Depends on the Source"

Australasian Science 23(10): 31-33

Kelley, Jonathan, M.D.R. Evans and Esmail D. Zanjani.

Available now in libraries and from the publisher 

Library: Selected Research Reports (copies for private scholarly use only)

Public Perceptions of Genetic Engineering: Australia, 1994. Final Report to the Department of Industry, Science and Technology, Commonwealth of Australia. Published online by the Department of Industry, Science and Technology. Pp 1-62. Kelley, Jonathan. 1995.  (PDF available here). Over 60 citations on Google Scholar.

Security and Pay in Government and Private Employment. Report to the Western Australian Government Railways Commission (Westrail). Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne. Pp. 1-93. Kelley, Jonathan, M.D.R. Evans and Peter Dawkins. 1999.  (PDF available here)

Sources of Attitudes Towards  Industrial Relations In Australia, 1999: Analytic Report (B), Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne. Pp 1-54. Evans, M.D.R. and Jonathan Kelley. 2001. Report to the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations, and Small Business, Commonwealth of Australia. (PDF available here)

Australian Attitudes to Britain, 1984-2002. Report to the British High Commission - Canberra. Pps 1-79. Jonathan Kelley and MDR Evans. 2002. Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne. (PDF available here)


Library: Publications that are otherwise hard to find (copies for private scholarly use only)

1968. "The Dimensions of Politics". American Association for Public Opinion Research, Proceedings of the Twenty-third Annual Conference, Student Paper Competition: Honorable Mention. Kelley, Jonathan. (Abstract available here)

1969. "Dress as Nonverbal Communication" American Association for Public Opinion Research, Proceedings of the Twenty-fourth Annual Conference, Student Paper Competition: Honorable Mention. Kelley, Jonathan. (Abstract available here)

1971. "Social Mobility in Toro: Some Preliminary Results from Western Uganda." Economic Development and Cultural Change, 19:204-221. Kelley, Jonathan and Melvin L. Perlman. (PDF available here)

1974. "The Politics of School Busing." Public Opinion Quarterly 38:23-39. Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)

1976 “L’Influence de la Richesse et de l’Origine Familiale sur La Carriere Professionelle: Theorie et Donnees Transculturelle.” Sociologie et Societes 8(2): 99-114. Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)

1977. "'New Math' Implementation: A Look Inside the Classroom." Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 8 (November): 323-331. Jack Price, John L. Kelley, and Jonathan Kelley. (PDF available here)

1977. American Association for the Advancement of Science: Prize for Behavioral Science Research, 1977, for a paper based on our book Revolution and the Rebirth of Inequality: A Theory Applied to the National Revolution in Bolivia. Kelley, Jonathan and Herbert S. Klein. (Formerly called the Socio-Psychological Prize) (Prize announcement)

1978. "Wealth and Family Background in the Occupational Career: Theory and Cross-Cultural Data." British Journal of Sociology 29:94-109. Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)

1978. "Sexual Permissiveness: Evidence for a Theory." Journal of Marriage and the Family 40:455-468. Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)

1982. "The Decision to Become an Australian Citizen." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology 18:428-39. Kelley, Jonathan and Ian McAllister. (PDF available here)

1983. "The Electoral Consequences of Gender in Australia." British Journal of Political Science, 13:327-340. Kelley, Jonathan and Ian McAllister. (PDF available here)

1984. "Decomposing Differences between Groups: A Cautionary Note on Measuring Discrimination." Sociological Methods and Research. 12:323-343 Jones, F.L. and Jonathan Kelley. (PDF available here)

1984. "Immigrants, Socio-Economic Attainment, and Politics in Australia." British Journal of Sociology 35:387-405. Kelley, Jonathan and Ian McAllister. (PDF available here)

1986. "Immigrants' Work: Equality and Discrimination in the Australian Labour Market." The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology. 22:187-207. Evans, M.D.R. and Jonathan Kelley. (PDF available here)

1988. "Class Conflict or Ethnic Oppression? The Costs of Being Indian in Rural Bolivia." Rural Sociology: Official Journal of the Rural Sociological Society 53:399-420. Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)

1988. "The Economics of Higher Education: Who Benefits?"   National Social Science Survey Report 1(1):1-3. Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)
Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia: Read into Hansard by Senator Macklin, 13 December, 1988.

1989. Australians' Attitudes to Overseas Aid. Canberra: Australian Government Printing Office. Pp. vi + 130. ISBN: 0644102969
Kelley, Jonathan. (PDF available here)

1990. "The Failure of a Paradigm: Log-linear Models of Social Mobility." Pp. 319-346. Kelley, Jonathan. In John Goldthorpe: Consensus and Controversy, edited by John Clarke, Sohan Modgil and Celia Modgil. London: Falmer Press. (PDF available here)

1990. "Public Opinion and the Death Penalty in Australia." Justice Quarterly, 7:529-563. Kelley, Jonathan and John Braithwaite. (PDF available here)

2000. “Public Perceptions of Class Conflict in 21 Nations."  Pps 43-71. In N. Tos, P.Ph. Mohler and Brina Malnar (editors) Modern Society and Values: A Comparative Analysis Based on the ISSP Project. Ljubljana: Scientific Library/FSS Series 39, University of Ljubljana, and ZUMA  Mannheim.  Kelley, Jonathan and M.D.R. Evans. (PDF available here)

2001. “Educational Attainment of the Children of Divorce: Australia, 1940-90.” Journal of Sociology 37(3): 297–319.  Evans, M.D.R., Jonathan Kelley, and Richard Wanner.  (PDF available here)

2009. "Subjective Social Mobility: Data From 30 Nations." Chapter 6 in Charting the Globe: The International Social Survey Programme 1984-2009. Edited by Max Haller, Roger Jowell and Tom Smith. London: Routledge. Kelley, S.M.C. and C.G.E. Kelley (PDF available here)

2010. "Economic Development and Happiness: Evidence from 39 Nations" Polish Sociological Review 2010(1):3-20. Zagorski, Krzysztof, Jonathan Kelley and M.D.R. Evans.  (PDF available here)

2010. “Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Evidence From 27 Nations." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 28(2):171-197. Evans, M.D.R., Jonathan Kelley, Joanna Sikora, and Donald J. Treiman. (PDF preprint available here)


Worldwide Attitudes

Worldwide Attitudes is an on-line academic journal that publishes brief, original research reports based on rigorous analysis of data from large, representative national sample surveys. These reports are drawn from sociology, demography, political science and economics.


Some of our projects

Public Attitudes Toward Genetic Engineering. The ISC began to study public attitudes to genetic engineering in 1994, in a project sponsored by the Commonwealth of Australia. This was based on an initial survey of 1328 respondents in our 1994/95 survey, a representative national sample of Australians in all states and territories. The questionnaire included more than 30 questions specifically on genetic engineering, systematically developed on the basis of a lengthy developmental pretest of more than 300 respondents. In addition the questionnaire included extensive batteries of items on factors that shape people's views on genetic engineering -- religious beliefs, attitudes to science in general, political attitudes, environmental attitudes, views on new medical technologies, education, occupation, etc. The report on these data is available here on on web site [1994/95 Report]. It offers a rigorous, dispassionate, statistical analysis of public opinion without any preconceived bias for or against it. Building on this initial analysis, we collected new data on several thousand respondents in subsequent years in Australia and, recently, some new data in the USA.


Who are we?

The ISC is an international collaboration -- a virtual organization, at home wherever its principal investigators are to be found -- originally at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University and now in the USA at the University of Nevada, Reno, and scattered throughout the world.

Who are our sponsors?

Principal sponsors of our research have been:

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Get our book Australian Attitudes: Social and Political Analysis from the National Social Science Survey

or our  Revolution and the Rebirth of Inequality: A Theory Applied to the National Revolution in Bolivia

or our  Australians' Attitudes to Overseas Aid: Report from the National Social Science Survey

or our  Australian Economy and Society 2001: Education, Work and Welfare (published 2002)

or our  Australian Economy and Society 2002: Religion, Morality and Public Policy in International Perspective, 1984-2002 (published 2004)

 Copyright 1999-2012 International Survey Center. Published in the USA.

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