IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jorssa/v173y2010i2p409-429.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How reliable are income data collected with a single question?

Author

Listed:
  • John Micklewright
  • Sylke V. Schnepf

Abstract

Summary. Income is an important correlate for numerous phenomena in the social sciences. But many surveys collect data with just a single question covering all forms of income. This raises questions over the reliability of the data that are collected. Issues of reliability are heightened when individuals are asked about the household total rather than own income alone. We argue that the large literature on measuring incomes has not devoted enough attention to ‘single‐question’ surveys. We investigate the reliability of single‐question data by using the UK Office for National Statistics's Omnibus survey and the British Social Attitudes survey as examples. We compare the distributions of income in these surveys—individual income in the Omnibus and household income in the British Social Attitudes survey—with those in two larger UK surveys that measure income in much greater detail. Distributions compare less well for household income than for individual income. Disaggregation by gender proves fruitful in much of the analysis. We also establish levels of item non‐response to the income question in single‐question surveys from a wide range of countries.

Suggested Citation

  • John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2010. "How reliable are income data collected with a single question?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(2), pages 409-429, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:173:y:2010:i:2:p:409-429
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2009.00632.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2009.00632.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2009.00632.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles F. Manski & Elie Tamer, 2002. "Inference on Regressions with Interval Data on a Regressor or Outcome," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 519-546, March.
    2. Ben Jann, 2008. "Multinomial goodness-of-fit: Large-sample tests with survey design correction and exact tests for small samples," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 147-169, June.
    3. Roberto Rigobon & Thomas M. Stoker, 2007. "Estimation With Censored Regressors: Basic Issues," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1441-1467, November.
    4. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Duncan, Greg J & Rodgers, Willard L, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-368, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Pitfalls in Estimating Asymmetric Effects of Energy Price Shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 473, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Kaido, Hiroaki, 2017. "Asymptotically Efficient Estimation Of Weighted Average Derivatives With An Interval Censored Variable," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(5), pages 1218-1241, October.
    3. John Abowd & Martha Stinson, 2011. "Estimating Measurement Error in SIPP Annual Job Earnings: A Comparison of Census Bureau Survey and SSA Administrative Data," Working Papers 11-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Menzel, Konrad, 2014. "Consistent estimation with many moment inequalities," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 182(2), pages 329-350.
    5. Kaspar W thrich, 2013. "Set Identification of Generalized Linear Predictors in the Presence of Non-Classical Measurement Errors," Diskussionsschriften dp1304, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    6. Steven T Berry & Giovanni Compiani, 2023. "An Instrumental Variable Approach to Dynamic Models," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 90(4), pages 1724-1758.
    7. Thierry Magnac & Eric Maurin, 2008. "Partial Identification in Monotone Binary Models: Discrete Regressors and Interval Data," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 75(3), pages 835-864.
    8. Federico Ciliberto & Elie Tamer, 2009. "Market Structure and Multiple Equilibria in Airline Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1791-1828, November.
    9. Christian Bontemps & Thierry Magnac & Eric Maurin, 2012. "Set Identified Linear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1129-1155, May.
    10. Chen, Le-Yu & Lee, Sokbae, 2018. "Best subset binary prediction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 206(1), pages 39-56.
    11. Peter Gottschalk & Minh Huynh, 2010. "Are Earnings Inequality and Mobility Overstated? The Impact of Nonclassical Measurement Error," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 302-315, May.
    12. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Itay Saporta-Eksten, 2016. "Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(2), pages 387-435, February.
    13. Andrew Chesher & Adam Rosen, 2015. "Characterizations of identified sets delivered by structural econometric models," CeMMAP working papers 63/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Prosper Dovonon, 2013. "Conditionally Heteroskedastic Factor Models With Skewness And Leverage Effects," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1110-1137, November.
    15. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1331-1370, September.
    16. Hong, Han & Tamer, Elie, 2003. "Endogenous binary choice model with median restrictions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 219-225, August.
    17. Bauer, Philipp, 2006. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Income in Switzerland - A Comparison between Natives and Immigrants," Working papers 2006/01, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    18. Keshav Dogra & Olga Gorbachev, 2016. "Consumption Volatility, Liquidity Constraints and Household Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 2012-2037, November.
    19. Laura Coroneo & Valentina Corradi & Paulo Santos Monteiro, 2018. "Testing for optimal monetary policy via moment inequalities," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(6), pages 780-796, September.
    20. repec:cep:stiecm:em/2012/559 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Guido W. Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1845-1857, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:173:y:2010:i:2:p:409-429. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/rssssea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.