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Eliciting Subjective Expectations in Internet Surveys

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Author Info

  • Adeline Delavande
  • Susann Rohwedder

Abstract

Individuals' subjective expectations are important in explaining heterogeneity in individual choices, but their elicitation poses challenges. In this paper, the authors present their findings from testing an innovative visual representation of an Internet survey in the context of individuals' Social Security expectations. Respondents were randomly divided into two groups: Half were administered the standard "percent chance" format; half were asked to allocate a total of 20 balls across seven bins to express what they believe the chances to be that their future Social Security benefits would fall into any one of those bins. The authors found that the main advantage of the visual format is that it generates usable answers for virtually all respondents. This suggests that the visual format is a viable alternative that leads to more complete data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 589.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:589

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Keywords: subjective expectations; web survey; social security;

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References

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  1. Adeline Delavande & Robert Willis, 2007. "Managing the Risk of Life," Working Papers wp167, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 1997. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," NBER Working Papers 6193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "How Should We Measure Consumer Confidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 51-66, Spring.
  4. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
  5. Li Gan & Guan Gong, 2005. "Subjective Morality Risks and Bequests," 2005 Meeting Papers 900, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2007. "Expected Equity Returns and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 369-379, 04-05.
  7. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  8. Lee Lillard & Robert J. Willis, 2001. "Cognition and Wealth: The Importance of Probabilistic Thinking," Working Papers wp007, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  10. Delavande, Adeline, 2005. "Pill, Patch or Shot? Subjective Expectations and Birth Control Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 4856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2006. "Measuring Pension-benefit Expectations Probabilistically," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 201-236, 06.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Individuals’ Responses to Social Security Reform," Working Papers wp182, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2012. "The Perception of Social Security Incentives for Labor Supply and Retirement: The Median Voter Knows More Than You’d Think," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1 - 42.
  3. Adeline Delavande & Xavier Giné & David McKenzie, 2011. "Eliciting probabilistic expectations with visual aids in developing countries: how sensitive are answers to variations in elicitation design?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 479-497, 04.
  4. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2010. "Individuals' Uncertainty about Future Social Security Benefits and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers 782, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2009. "Pension Risk, Retirement Saving and Insurance," EIEF Working Papers Series 0902, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Apr 2009.
  6. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2011. "Would People Behave Differently If They Better Understood Social Security? Evidence From a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 17287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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