Appendix A (Example of a Code Frame for an Open-Ended Question)

From the Survey of Consumer Attitudes :

A2. We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you (and your family living there) are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

1. BETTER NOW

3. SAME

 5. WORSE NOW

8. DK

9. NA

A2a. Why do you say so? (Are there any other reasons?).

REASONS FOR MAKING YOU BETTER OFF

10. Better pay: raise in wages or salary on present job, promotions, higher commissions, change to higher paying job (include Armed Forces induction or discharge) (Any family member who gets a raise is coded 10); increased tips, bonuses

11. Higher income from self-employment or property: higher business profits or farm income, higher dividends, royalties or rents, more income from professional practice or trade

12. More work, hence more income: Head (or wife) started working (again), more members of family working; higher income, NA why, MORE MONEY (if self-employed, code 11)

13. Increased contributions from outside FU: (from private individuals, government pension, relief or welfare, gifts); inheritance

14. Lower prices: decrease in cost of living; low or reasonable prices

15. Lower taxes; low or unchanged taxes

16. Decreased expenses: fewer people to be supported by FU; spending less, NA whether 14 or 16; thrift

18. Higher interest rates

19. Better asset position: more savings; business or farm worth more; has more business/farm assets; stocks went up; investments

20. Debt, interest or debt payments low or lower: have paid, is paying bills; interest rates lower

21. Change in family composition means higher income or better off (except 16 or 12); got married, etc. (no inheritance factor)

23. Good times, no recession (not codeable above) — refers to the general situation as being good

27. Other reasons for making FU better off: great security (job more permanent, psychological security), greater opportunities, higher standard of living, have more things, future outlook improved, got insurance; bought house, additions and repairs to house

38. Reference to government economic policy

39. Income tax refund

REASONS FOR MAKING FU WORSE OFF

50. Lower pay: decrease in wages or salary on present job, change to lower paying job (including Armed Forces induction or discharge) (Any family member who has a decrease in wages or salary is coded 50); no increase in pay; decreased tips, bonuses

51. Lower income from self-employment or property: lower business profits or farm income, lower dividends, royalties or rents, less income from professional practice or trade

52. Less work, hence less income: unemployed (refers to any unemployed family member) laid off, sick, retired, on strike, unsteady work, less overtime, fewer members of FU working, back to student status, lower income NA why (if self-employed, code 51);WORSE off because R/family member is/has been sick

53. Decreased/Unchanged contributions from outside FU, “worse because

Social Security hasn’t gone up” (if “same” because Social Security hasn’t gone up, DO NOT USE THIS CODE); “worse because on a fixed income”

54. High(er) prices: increase in cost of living; prices rise faster than income; inflation; worse because raises have been too small –code “no raise” or decrease in pay in 50

55. Higher interest rates

56. High, higher taxes (except 57)

57. Income taxes

58. Increased expenses; more people to be supported by FU; spending more, NA whether 54, 55, 56, or 58

59. Worse asset position: savings used up wholly or partially; less business, farm or personal assets; stocks declined in value; interest rates lower

60. Debt: interest, debt, or debt payments high or higher

61. Change in family composition means lower income or worse off (except 58); divorced, death, etc.

63. Bad times, recession (not codeable above–refers to the general situation as being bad)

64. Strike(s)–not codeable in 52

67. Other reasons for making FU worse off: less security (job less secure); lower standard of living

78. Reference to government economic policy

98. DK

99. NA

00. Inap, no change and no pro-con reason given; 9 in PAGO; no second mention

Reference