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Income reporting behaviour in sample surveys

  • Andrea Neri


    (Bank of Italy, Economics, Research and International Relations area)

  • Roberta Zizza


    (Bank of Italy, Economics, Research and International Relations area)

This paper analyses respondents' behaviour when reporting their income sources in sample surveys and presents a method to deal with response error. Survey data relating to the number of earning recipients and to amounts received are validated using external information from administrative and statistical sources. Our findings suggest that the response bias on household income is about 12 per cent of reported figures. Misreporting is particularly severe for income from self-employment, financial assets and rents, as well as from secondary jobs. As to the distribution of response error, about 15 per cent of respondents show a high probability of misreporting. Misreporting is more diffuse among males, the older, the self-employed and respondents at the higher end of the earnings distribution.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 777.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_777_10
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  1. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
  2. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 350, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Susanne M. Schennach & Yingyao Hu & Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Nonparametric identification of the classical errors-in-variables model without side information," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 674, Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Leandro D�Aurizio & Ivan Faiella & Stefano Iezzi & Andrea Neri, 2006. "The under-reporting of financial wealth in the Survey on Household income and Wealth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 610, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Pudney, Stephen, 2008. "Heaping and leaping: survey response behaviour and the dynamics of self-reported consumption expenditure," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-09, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  7. Giovanni D'Alessio & Ivan Faiella, 2002. "Non-response behaviour in the Bank of Italy�s Survey of Household Income and Wealth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 462, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  8. Bollinger, Christopher R., 1996. "Bounding mean regressions when a binary regressor is mismeasured," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 387-399, August.
  9. Martin H. David & Christopher R. Bollinger, 2005. "I didn't tell, and I won't tell: dynamic response error in the SIPP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 563-569.
  10. 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.
  11. Kan, Â Man Yee & Pudney, Stephen, 2007. "Measurement error in stylised and diary data on time use," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  12. Ivan Faiella & Romina Gambacorta, 2007. "The Weighting Process in the SHIW," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 636, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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