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 report 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4389.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Fiscal Studies, 2009, 30 (3-4), 419-433
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- David Comerford & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon, 2009. "Experimental Tests of Survey Responses to Expenditure Questions," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(Special I), pages 419-433, December.
- David Comerford & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon, 2009. "Experimental Tests of Survey Responses to Expenditure Questions," Working Papers 200925, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-ECM-2009-10-10 (Econometrics)
- NEP-EXP-2009-10-10 (Experimental Economics)
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.:
- Liam Delaney & Francis O’Toole, 2006. "Willingness to pay: individual or household?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 305-309, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 77, McMaster University.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2004:i:9:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- 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
- Geary Summer Internships
by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2011-02-20 21:27:00
- Thomas F. Crossley & Joachim K. Winter, 2014.
"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, 2010.
"Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys : experimental results from Tanzania,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5501, The World Bank.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.