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Third Person Effects in Interview Responses on Life Satisfaction

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Author Info

  • Adrian Chadi

    ()
    (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)

Abstract

This paper investigates the finding that reported life satisfaction scores are significantly higher in the German Socio-Economic Panel when a third person is present during the interview. Even after controlling a variety of relevant factors, third person presence makes up a significant difference in satisfaction levels. A plausible explanation is that interviewees distort their responses in a favourable way. The evidence suggests that this apparently minor aspect could even affect empirical outcomes in happiness research. This study contributes to the literature in this field, especially with respect to the recently revived debate on survey methodology in the reporting of satisfaction.

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File URL: http://www.iaaeg.de/images/DiscussionPaper/2013_07.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) in its series IAAEU Discussion Papers with number 201307.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201307

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Related research

Keywords: Well-being; Survey design; Interview-specific factor; Third persons; Response bias;

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References

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  1. Paul Frijters & Tony Beatton, 2008. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," NCER Working Paper Series 26, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  2. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Adrian Chadi, 2012. "I would really love to participate in your survey! Bias problems in the measurement of well-being," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3111-3119.
  4. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  5. Paul Dolan & Georgios Kavetsos, 2012. "Happy Talk: Mode of Administration Effects on Subjective Well-Being," CEP Discussion Papers dp1159, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Ed Diener & Ed Sandvik & William Pavot & Dennis Gallagher, 1991. "Response artifacts in the measurement of subjective well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 35-56, February.
  7. Albert Kozma & M. Stones, 1988. "Social desirability in measures of subjective well-being: Age comparisons," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 1-14, February.
  8. Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2012. "Heresy or enlightenment? The well-being age U-shape effect is flat," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 235-238.
  9. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
  10. Ivar Krumpal, 2013. "Determinants of social desirability bias in sensitive surveys: a literature review," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 2025-2047, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adrian Chadi, 2013. "The Role of Interviewer Encounters in Panel Responses on Life Satisfaction," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201311, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  2. Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201403, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

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