This report describes the variables of ALWA-LiNu data. The IAB study ALWA (‘Work-ing and Learning in a Changing World’) was conducted in 2007/08 and contains de-tailed retrospective life course data of 10,404 individuals living in Germany born in between 1956 and 1988. ALWA-LiNu provides information of 3,980 study participants on their cognitive skills in two domains, prose literacy and numeracy.
This report describes the skills tests conducted in the face-to-face (PAPI) interview of the IAB
study “Working and Learning in a Changing World” (ALWA). These tests focused on measuring
cognitive skills in two domains, prose literacy and numeracy. The major goal of the ALWA
study, for which the pilot was conducted in 2006/07 and the main survey in 2007/08, was to
provide a database for statistical analyses on the relationships among cognitive competencies,
educational credentials, and employment and working lives in longitudinal perspective.
In the skills tests measurement constructs and items from both the International Adult Literacy
Survey (IALS, 1994-1999) and the Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (ALL, 2003-2008)
were used. Scaling methods were modeled as well after those used for IALS and ALL
(Yamamoto 1998, Yamamoto & Kirsch 1998). This report has two major goals. First, it describes
the design and implementation of the skills tests in the ALWA study. Second, the
scaling model used for describing the test results is explained, empirical results of scaling the
ALWA skills data are presented, and practical advice how to work with the delivered data (in
the form of plausible values and weights) is given to those users how are no specialists in
handling IRT (Item Response Theory) models.