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Reliability of recall in agricultural data

  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Carletto, Calogero
  • Himelein, Kristen

Despite the importance of agriculture to economic development, and a vast accompanying literature on the subject, little research has been done on data quality. Due to survey logistics, agricultural data are usually collected by asking respondents to recall the details of events occurring during past agricultural seasons, potentially leading to recall bias. The problem is further complicated when interviews are conducted over the course of several months, thus leading to recall of variable length. To test for recall bias, the length of time between harvest and interview is examined for three African countries with respect to several common agricultural input and harvest measures. The analysis shows little evidence of large recall bias impacting data quality. There is some indication that more salient events are less subject to recall decay. Overall, the results allay some concerns about the quality of some types of agricultural data collected through recall over lengthy periods.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 98 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 34-41

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:98:y:2012:i:1:p:34-41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim, 2007. "Measurement Error in Recall Surveys and the Relationship between Household Size and Food Demand," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 473-489.
  2. Gibson, John, 2002. " Why Does the Engel Method Work? Food Demand, Economies of Size and Household Survey Methods," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(4), pages 341-59, September.
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