Increasing Validity by Recombining Existing Indices: MIPEX as a Measure of Citizenship Models*

Didier Ruedin
  • Social Science Quarterly, April 2015, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12162

Increase the validity of your research by recombining existing indices

Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

What is it about?

We often use indices combining many indicators in the social sciences. We can increase the (construct) validity of our research by recombining individual indicators of existing indices. I demonstrate this using indicators from the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) to approximate Koopmans et al.'s conception of citizenship models. The recombined MIPEX data match the data by Koopmans et al., but by re-using the MIPEX we immediately get wider coverage.

Why is it important?

Because collecting data for an index is often beyond what a research project can afford, we often rely on existing indices -- at a cost of (construct) validity. By recombining the individual indicators, we can often create a custom index closer to what we want to do.


Didier Ruedin (Author)
University of Neuch√Ętel

In previous work I have showed that we can use the MIPEX as a scale, but have also criticized it for its redundancy and relative lack of theoretical foundation. Here I show that the redundancy is a key asset, because it allows us to recombine the items to get indices closer to the theory we (want to) use. The approach outlined here can be applied to many other indices and should leave us with more valid research.

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