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The More, the Better? Individual and Joint Interviewing in Surveys


  • Nicolas Frémeaux


This paper examines the influence of respondents on the quality of surveys and on wealth estimates using the French wealth survey Patrimoine. Since 2004, the responses provided by both spouses jointly have been progressively replaced by responses provided solely by either the male or the female spouse. When both spouses are interviewed together, the responses are judged more reliable as compared to individual respondents. Changes of respondents explain part of the changes in the value of wealth. When the response is provided by both spouses in 2015 but solely by the male spouse in 2018, net household wealth significantly increases and it decreases for the transitions from male to joint respondents. When I turn to the transitions from joint to female respondents, I detect opposite effects. These results highlight the need to consider more carefully the influence of respondents in the estimation of wealth and in the measurement of inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Frémeaux, 2023. "The More, the Better? Individual and Joint Interviewing in Surveys," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 149, pages 63-96.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2023:i:149:p:63-96
    DOI: 10.2307/48718081

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Survey; Interview; Respondents; Wealth; Couple; Measurement Errors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure


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