Experimental Tests of Survey Responses to Expenditure Questions
AbstractThis paper tests for a number of survey effects in the elicitation of expenditure items. In particular we examine the extent to which individuals use features of the expenditure question to construct their answers. We test whether respondents interpret question wording as researchers intend and examine the extent to which prompts, clarifications and seemingly arbitrary features of survey design influence expenditure reports. We find that over one quarter of respondents have difficulty distinguishing between "you" and "your household" when making expenditure reports; that respondents report higher pro-rata expenditure when asked to give responses on a weekly as opposed to monthly or annual time scale; that respondents give higher estimates when using a scale with a higher mid-point; and that respondents give higher aggregated expenditure when categories are presented in a disaggregated form. In summary, expenditure reports are constructed using convenient rules of thumb and available information, which will depend on the characteristics of the respondent, the expenditure domain and features of the survey question. It is crucial to further account for these features in ongoing surveys.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle 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)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://www.ifs.org.uk
More information through EDIRC
Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE
Other versions of this item:
- David Comerford & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon, 2009. "Experimental Tests of Survey Responses to Expenditure Questions," Working Papers 200925, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Comerford, David & Delaney, Liam & Harmon, Colm P., 2009. "Experimental Tests of Survey Responses to Expenditure Questions," IZA Discussion Papers 4389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Guglielmo Weber, 2002.
"Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys,"
Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers
77, McMaster University.
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "Asking consumption questions in general purpose surveys," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages F540-F567, November.
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Gugliemo Weber, 2002. "Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys," CAM Working Papers 2002-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
- Schkade David A. & Payne John W., 1994. "How People Respond to Contingent Valuation Questions: A Verbal Protocol Analysis of Willingness to Pay for an Environmental Regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 88-109, January.
- Loomis John & Lockwood Michael & DeLacy Terry, 1993. "Some Empirical Evidence on Embedding Effects in Contingent Valuation of Forest Protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 45-55, July.
- Liam Delaney & Francis O’Toole, 2006. "Willingness to pay: individual or household?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 305-309, December.
- Lindhjem, Henrik & Navrud, Ståle, 2008. "Asking for Individual or Household Willingness to Pay for Environmental Goods? Implication for aggregate welfare measures," MPRA Paper 11469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Joachim Winter, 2004.
"Response bias in survey-based measures of household consumption,"
AccessEcon, vol. 3(9), pages 1-12.
- Winter, Joachim, 2003. "Response bias in survey-based measures of household consumption," Munich Reprints in Economics 19725, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
- repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2004:i:9:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
- Delaney, Liam & O'Toole, Francis, 2008.
"Individual, household and gender preferences for social transfers,"
Journal of Economic Psychology,
Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 348-359, June.
- Liam Delaney & Francis O'Toole, 2007. "Individual, Household and Gender Preferences for Social Transfers," Working Papers 200703, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Oswald, Andrew J, 2008.
"On the Curvature of the Reporting Function from Objective Reality to Subjective Feelings,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
839, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "On the curvature of the reporting function from objective reality to subjective feelings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 369-372, September.
- Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "On the Curvature of the Reporting Function from Objective Reality to Subjective Feelings," IZA Discussion Papers 3344, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Michael D. Hurd, 1999.
"Anchoring and Acquiescence Bias in Measuring Assets in Households Surveys,"
99-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
- Hurd, Michael D, 1999. "Anchoring and Acquiescence Bias in Measuring Assets in Household Surveys," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 111-36, December.
- Hurd, M., 1999. "Anchoring and Acquiescence Bias in Measuring Assets in Households Surveys," Papers 99-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
- Menon, Geeta & Raghubir, Priya & Schwarz, Norbert, 1995. " Behavioral Frequency Judgments: An Accessibility-Diagnosticity Framework," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 212-28, September.
- Weber, Bethany J. & Chapman, Gretchen B., 2005. "Playing for peanuts: Why is risk seeking more common for low-stakes gambles?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 31-46, May.
- Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Geary Summer Internships
by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2011-02-20 21:27:00
- Bundle: Microeconomic Insights from Citibank Data
by Martin Ryan in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2011-02-06 21:14:00
- Geary Working Paper - Experimental Tests of Expenditure Response
by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-08-12 11:22:00
- Thomas F. Crossley & Joachim K. Winter, 2012.
"Asking Households about Expenditures: What Have We Learned?,"
in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2012.
"Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 3-18.
- Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2010. "Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys : experimental results from Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5501, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephanie Seavers).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.