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An experimental analysis of the impact of survey design on measures and models of subjective wellbeing

  • Pudney, Stephen

We analyse the results of experiments on aspects of the design of questionnaire and interview mode in the 2009 wave of the new UK Understanding Society panel survey. The randomised experiments relate to job- and life-satisfaction questions and vary the labeling of response scales, the mode of interviewing and the location of questions within the interview. We find a highly significant impact of these design features on the distributions of reported satisfaction in various life domains and some important impacts on the findings from conventional cross-section models of satisfaction.

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Paper provided by Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series Understanding Society Working Paper Series with number 2010-01.

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Date of creation: 23 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:ukhlsp:2010-01
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  1. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," Working Papers 64, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  2. 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.
  3. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative income, happiness, and utility: An explanation for the Easterlin paradox and other puzzles," Post-Print halshs-00754299, HAL.
  4. Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2007. "Reliability of job satisfaction measures," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 273-292, June.
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