International Social Justice Project, 1991 and 1996 (ICPSR 6705)

Published: Mar 4, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
Bernd Wegener, Humbolt University of Berlin; David Mason, Butler University; International Social Justice Project (ISJP)

Version V2

The International Social Justice Project is a collaborative effort among 13 countries to conduct a comparative study of popular perceptions of economic and social justice in advanced industrialized nations. Countries which participated in the 1991 and 1996 survey included Bulgaria, East Germany, Estonia, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, the United States, and the Czech Republic and Slovakia (formerly known as Czechoslovakia in the 1991 survey). West Germany and East Germany, during its transition to a democracy, were surveyed in 1991. The survey, which employed standardized survey procedures and data collection instruments across all countries, focused on normative social justice concepts such as entitlement, equality of economic opportunity, and reward distribution. The study design provides analysis of normative justice at a micro level, involving respondents' evaluation of justice or rewards received by individuals and small groups, and at a macro level, through the evaluation of fairness of reward distribution at the aggregate or societal level. Variables in the dataset include demographic characteristics of the respondent, such as age, sex, marital status, education, employment, and occupation. In the 1991 survey, occupation has been classified utilizing the following coding schemes: the International Standard Classification of Occupations and Goldthorpe's Class Categories, with the addition of the English-language version of the German "Berufsstellungen" in the 1996 survey. Respondents were also queried about actual and desired income, what factors respondents believe determine level of pay and their fairness, dependence on pension or social welfare programs, satisfaction with the sociopolitical system, perceived and/or preferred role of the government in job allocation, and standard of living.

Wegener, Bernd, Mason, David, and International Social Justice Project (ISJP). International Social Justice Project, 1991 and 1996. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-03-04.

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Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Institute of Sociology

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Germany) (Grant Number 1996 survey: WE 1019/9-1)

Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria). Vitosha Research

Open Society Fund-Sofia (Bulgaria)

1991-03 -- 1997-01

1991-03 -- 1997-01

In this collection there are many variables that have value labels or codes in the data that do not fully correspond with the codebook.

Documentation for variables V1001 through V25022 has not been provided by the data producer.

Variables V115 through V128 and V217 through V223: East Germany, The Netherlands, and West Germany used a 5-point scale instead of a 4-point scale for these questions. Please refer to the codebook for more information regarding these variables.

Stata prohibits adding value labels to non-integer codes and this causes errors when using Stata. The value labels associated with the following variables were removed from the Stata setup files and the Stata system file to ensure that they work correctly: V405, V406, V415, V416, V425, V426, V435, V436, V935, and V936. Value labels for these variables can, however, be found in the SAS and SPSS setup files and in the codebook.

As sampling procedures vary by country, please refer to the "Methodology of the 1991 ISJP Survey" and "Methodology of the 1996 ISJP Survey" sections of this ICPSR codebook for information in regard to sampling.

Citizens aged 18 and older in the following countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany (in 1991 West Germany and East Germany), Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United States. Please see the "Methodology of the 1991 ISJP Survey" and "Methodology of the 1996 ISJP Survey" sections of the ICPSR codebook for further information in regard to universe.


survey data

face-to-face interview

telephone interview



2010-03-04 This study has been further processed and updated in connection with the data producer by the Central Archive for Empirical Social Research (GESIS(formerly ZA)). While exact changes to the 1991 survey are unavailable, this update includes the 1996 survey data as well.

1996-05-14 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Please see the "Methodology of the 1991 ISJP Survey" and "Methodology of the 1996 ISJP Survey" sections of this ICPSR codebook for information in regard to weighting.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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