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Can survey participation alter household saving behavior?

Author

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  • Thomas Crossley

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies, University of Essex)

  • Jochem de Bresser

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Liam Delaney

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Joachim K. Winter

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Abstract

Much empirical research in economics is based on data from household surveys. Panel surveys are particularly valuable for understanding dynamics and heterogeneity. A possible concern with panel surveys is that survey participation itself may alter subsequent behavior. We provide novel evidence of survey effects on a central life-cycle choice: household saving. We exploit randomized assignment to survey modules within the LISS Panel, an internet panel survey which is representative of the Dutch population. We find that households that respond to detailed questions on expenditures and needs in retirement reduced their non-housing saving rate by 3.5 percentage points, on average. This mean effect is driven by high-education households which have the highest pension and housing wealth. Our saving measure is based on linked administrative wealth data. Thus we can rule out the possibility that the effect is on reporting, rather than on the underlying saving behavior. One interpretation is that the survey acted as a salience shock, possibly with respect to reduced housing costs in retirement.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Crossley & Jochem de Bresser & Liam Delaney & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "Can survey participation alter household saving behavior?," IFS Working Papers W14/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:14/06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:158-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Giulia Meloni & Jo Swinnen, 2016. " Bugs, tariffs and colonies: the political economy of the wine trade 1860-1970," Working Papers Department of Economics 556191, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Landeghem, Bert Van & Cörvers, Frank & Grip, Andries de, 2017. "Is there a rationale to contact the unemployed right from the start? Evidence from a natural field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, pages 158-168.
    4. Bert Van Landeghem & Anneleen Vandeplas, 2016. "Lower in Rank, but Happier: The Complex Relationship between Status and Happiness," Working Papers id:11441, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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