Does How You Measure Income Make a Difference to Measuring Poverty? Evidence from the UK
Income is regarded as one of the clearest indicators of socioeconomic status and wellbeing in the developed world and is highly correlated with a wide range of outcomes. Despite its importance, there remains an issue as to the best way to collect income as part of surveys. This paper examines differences in how income is collected in a nationally representative UK birth cohort, the Millennium Cohort Study, looking at variations by questions asked and by respondent characteristics before then examining the implications different methods of collecting and reporting income may have for measuring poverty. Results show that less than a third of respondents give consistent information on income between measurement tools. Using multiple questions is associated with a substantially lower response rate but this method generally results in a higher estimate of family income than using a single question. This is particularly true for certain groups of the population—those on means tested benefits, in self-employment and in part-time employment. Not surprisingly then in our analysis of poverty, using a single question produces an inflated proportion of families who could be classified as living in poverty and is less associated with other measures of financial deprivation than the more conservative poverty measure based on multiple questions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013
Volume (Year): 110 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2009.
"How Reliable are Income Data Collected with a Single Question?,"
DoQSS Working Papers
09-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
- 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.
- Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2007. "How Reliable Are Income Data Collected with a Single Question?," IZA Discussion Papers 3177, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Hansen, Kirstine & Machin, Stephen, 2002.
" Spatial Crime Patterns and the Introduction of the UK Minimum Wage,"
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics,
Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(0), pages 677-697, Supplemen.
- Kirstine Hansen & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Spatial Crime Patterns and the Introduction of the UK Minimum Wage," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(s1), pages 677-697, 08.
- Marco Francesconi & Holly Sutherland & Francesca Zantomio, 2011.
"A comparison of earnings measures from longitudinal and cross‐sectional surveys: evidence from the UK,"
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A,
Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(2), pages 297-326, 04.
- Francesconi, Marco & Sutherland, Holly & Zantomio, Francesca, 2009. "A comparison of earnings measures from longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-14, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
- Jörg-Peter Schräpler, 2006. "Explaining Income Nonresponse – A Case Study by means of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS)," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 1013-1036, December.
- Claudia Biancotti & Giovanni D'Alessio & Andrea Neri, 2008. "Measurement Error In The Bank Of Italy'S Survey Of Household Income And Wealth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(3), pages 466-493, 09.
- Clarke, Philip M. & Fiebig, Denzil G. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2008. "Optimal recall length in survey design," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1275-1284, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:110:y:2013:i:3:p:1119-1140. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.