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Item Non-Response to Financial Questions in Household Surveys: An Experimental Study of Interviewer and Mode Effects

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  • Lothar Essig
  • Joachim K. Winter

Abstract

We analyze nonresponse to questions on financial items such as income and asset holdings in household surveys using data from a controlled field experiment. As part of the SAVE study, a representative survey conducted in Germany in 2001, questions on household income and financial assets were administered using different modes (personal interview vs. drop-off questionnaire). The data also allow to investigate the influence of interviewer characteristics on nonresponse. Our results are in line with predictions derived from models of survey response behavior that have been developed in survey research and social psychology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): Special Issue on Measuring Consumption and Saving (December)
Pages: 367-390

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:30:y:2009:i:3-4:p:367-390

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  1. Horowitz, J.L. & Manski, C.F., 1995. "Censoring of Outcomes and Regressors Due to Survey Nonresponse: Identification and Estimation Using Weights and Imputations," Working papers 9525, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  3. Riphahn, Regina T. & Serfling, Oliver, 2002. "Item Non-Response on Income and Wealth Questions," IZA Discussion Papers 573, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Improving the Quality of Economic Data: Lessons from the HRS and AHEAD," Labor and Demography 0402010, EconWPA.
  5. Horowitz, Joel L & Manski, Charles F, 1995. "Identification and Robustness with Contaminated and Corrupted Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-302, March.
  6. Axel Borsch-Supan & Lothar Essig, 2003. "Household Saving in Germany: Results of the first SAVE study," NBER Working Papers 9902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Philipson, Tomas, 1997. "Data Markets and the Production of Surveys," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 47-72, January.
  8. Philipson, Tomas & Malani, Anup, 1999. "Measurement errors: A principal investigator-agent approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 273-298, August.
  9. Winter, Joachim, 0000. "Bracketing effects in categorized survey questions and the measurement of economic quantities," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-35, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  10. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Harish Chand & Li Gan & Angela Menill & Michael Roberts, 1998. "Consumption and Savings Balances of the Elderly: Experimental Evidence on Survey Response Bias," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 353-392 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Schunk, 2008. "A Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm for multiple imputation in large surveys," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 101-114, February.
  2. Daniel Schunk, 2009. "What Determines Household Saving Behavior? An Examination of Saving Motives and Saving Decisions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 229(4), pages 467-491, August.
  3. Pfarr, Christian & Schmid, Andreas, 2013. "The political economics of social health insurance: the tricky case of individuals’ preferences," MPRA Paper 44534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Thomas F. Crossley & Joachim K. Winter, 2013. "Asking Households About Expenditures: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 19543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Schunk, Daniel, 2007. "The German SAVE survey: documentation and methodology," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-08, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. Pfarr, Christian, 2012. "Meltzer-Richard and social mobility hypothesis: revisiting the income-redistribution nexus using German choice data," MPRA Paper 43325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Methodological aspects of the SAVE data set," MEA discussion paper series 05080, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  8. Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2011. "Illuminate the unknown: Evaluation of imputation procedures based on the SAVE Survey," MEA discussion paper series 11235, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  9. Beatrice Scheubel & Joachim Winter, 2008. "Rente mit 67: Wie lange die Deutschen arbeiten können und wollen," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(01), pages 26-32, 01.
  10. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Daniel Schunk, 2007. "The savings behaviour of German households: First Experiences with state promoted private pensions," MEA discussion paper series 07136, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  11. Coppola, Michela & Lamla, Bettina, 2012. "Empirical Research on Households’ Saving and Retirement Security: First Steps towards an Innovative Triple‐Linked‐Dataset," MEA discussion paper series 12258, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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