Open Access

How Factorial Survey Analysis Improves Our Understanding of Employer Preferences


Factorial Survey Analysis (FSA) is an analytical tool that presents respondents with fictional situations (“vignettes”) to be rated or judged. In this paper we study the use of FSA in labour market sociology, with a particular focus on employer-based surveys, and what they can teach us about hiring preferences. FSA is useful in this context as it targets employers directly and comes close to a causal design. This review article seeks to pinpoint the contributions FSA has made to the field, identify its limits and propose topics in which it may be useful.