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I would really love to participate in your survey! Bias problems in the measurement of well-being

Author

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  • Adrian Chadi

    () (The Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU))

Abstract

This paper argues that satisfaction data from surveys are biased by varying participant attitudes toward the interview itself. In this manner, interviewees in a German panel study report lower life satisfaction when there is evidence of transient influences like aversion. The empirical findings suggest that researchers of well-being should consider interview-specific factors in order to avoid drawing incorrect conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00588
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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I4-P298.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    2. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
    3. Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Tell me why I don't like Mondays: investigating day of the week effects on job satisfaction and psychological well-being," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(1), pages 127-142.
    4. 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.
    5. Guillaume R. Frechette, 2001. "Random-effects ordered probit," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(59).
    6. Jörg-Peter Schräpler, 2007. "A Study of Mode-Effects of a change from PAPI to CAPI," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 113-125.
    7. Glenn, Norval, 2009. "Is the apparent U-shape of well-being over the life course a result of inappropriate use of control variables? A commentary on Blanchflower and Oswald (66: 8, 2008, 1733-1749)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 481-485, August.
    8. 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.
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    10. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel, 2010. "Better an insecure job than no job at all? Unemployment, job insecurity and subjective wellbeing," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(3), pages 2486-2494.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chadi, Adrian, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100505, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Pfaff, Tobias & Hirata, Johannes, 2013. "Testing the Easterlin hypothesis with panel data: The dynamic relationship between life satisfaction and economic growth in Germany and in the UK," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79965, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Tobias Pfaff & Johannes Hirata, 2013. "Testing the Easterlin Hypothesis with Panel Data: The Dynamic Relationship between Life Satisfaction and Economic Growth in Germany and the UK," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 554, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Petrunyk Inna & Pfeifer Christian, 2016. "Life Satisfaction in Germany After Reunification: Additional Insights on the Pattern of Convergence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(2), pages 217-239, March.
    5. Chadi, Adrian, 2013. "The role of interviewer encounters in panel responses on life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 550-554.
    6. Pfaff, Tobias & Hirata, Johannes, 2013. "Testing the Easterlin hypothesis with panel data: The dynamic relationship between life satisfaction and economic growth in Germany and in the UK," CIW Discussion Papers 4/2013, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    7. Chadi, Adrian, 2013. "Third Person Effects in Interview Responses on Life Satisfaction," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(2), pages 323-333.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Survey design; Measurement error; Response bias; Age-dependent;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs

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