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Questionnaire Design and Response Propensities for Employee Income Micro Data

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  • Reza C. Daniels

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

The design of the income question in household surveys usually includes response options for actual income, bracketed values, "Don't Know" and "Refuse" responses. This paper conducts an analysis of these response types using sequential response models specified analogously to those in the survey participation literature. We analyse the income question in Statistics South Africa's October Household Surveys (1997-1999) and Labour Force Surveys (2000-2003). The choice of survey years coincides with a period of development of the income question during which additional response options were steadily introduced to the questionnaire. An analysis of this sort sheds light on the underlying response process, which is useful for survey planning purposes and to researchers concerned with diagnosing the item missing and partial response mechanisms for variables of interest. It was found that the probability of a bracketed response increases as income increases, suggesting that this response option plays a significant role in getting higher income earners to answer the question. However, the relationship between response type and the correlates of income are no longer consistently statistically significant when the item nonresponse subset is decomposed into "Don't Know" and "Refuse". These findings suggest that response propensity models can help reduce specification error in single or multiple imputation algorithms. This is a joint SALDRU and DataFirst working paper

Suggested Citation

  • Reza C. Daniels, 2012. "Questionnaire Design and Response Propensities for Employee Income Micro Data," SALDRU Working Papers 89, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:89
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    File URL: http://opensaldru.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11090/180/2012_89.pdf?sequence=1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, 2003. "Anchoring Bias and Covariate Nonresponse," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2003 2003-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:484770 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Reza C. Daniels, 2012. "Univariate Multiple Imputation for Coarse Employee Income Data," SALDRU Working Papers 88, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    3. Martin Wittenberg, 2017. "Measurement of earnings: Comparing South African tax and survey data," SALDRU Working Papers 212, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. Martin Wittenberg, 2014. "Wages and wage inequality in South Africa 1994-2011: The evidence from household survey data," SALDRU Working Papers 135, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    5. Wittenberg, Martin., 2014. "Analysis of employment, real wage, and productivity trends in South Africa since 1994," ILO Working Papers 994847703402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Wittenberg, Martin & Pirouz, Farah, 2013. "The measurement of earnings in the post-Apartheid period: An overview," SALDRU Working Papers 108, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Questionnaire Design; Response Propensity Models; Employment Income;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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