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Item non-response to financial questions in household surveys: An experimental study of interviewer and mode effects

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  • Essig, Lothar
  • Winter, Joachim

Abstract

We analyse the determinants of non-response to questions on financial items such as income and asset holdings in household surveys. Our data come from a controlled field experiment. As part of the SAVE study - a representative survey conducted in Germany in 2001 - questions on household income and financial assets were administered using different modes (personal interview versus drop-off questionnaire). The data also allow us to investigate the influence of interviewer characteristics on non-response. Our results are in line with predictions derived from models of survey response behaviour that have been developed in survey research and social psychology.

Suggested Citation

  • Essig, Lothar & Winter, Joachim, 2009. "Item non-response to financial questions in household surveys: An experimental study of interviewer and mode effects," Munich Reprints in Economics 20547, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20547
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    1. Philipson, Tomas, 2001. "Data Markets, Missing Data, and Incentive Pay," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1099-1111, July.
    2. Regina Riphahn & Oliver Serfling, 2005. "Item non-response on income and wealth questions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 521-538, September.
    3. Winter, Joachim, 0000. "Bracketing effects in categorized survey questions and the measurement of economic quantities," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-35, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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    5. Horowitz, Joel L. & Manski, Charles F., 1998. "Censoring of outcomes and regressors due to survey nonresponse: Identification and estimation using weights and imputations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 37-58, May.
    6. Tomas Philipson, 1997. "Data Markets and the Production of Surveys," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(1), pages 47-72.
    7. Essig, Lothar, 2004. "Household Saving in Germany:," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-23, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    8. Axel Borsch-Supan & Lothar Essig, 2003. "Household Saving in Germany: Results of the first SAVE study," NBER Working Papers 9902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Improving the Quality of Economic Data: Lessons from the HRS and AHEAD," Labor and Demography 0402010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843, Elsevier.
    11. Philipson, Tomas & Malani, Anup, 1999. "Measurement errors: A principal investigator-agent approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 273-298, August.
    12. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Harish Chand & Li Gan & Angela Menill & Michael Roberts, 1998. "Consumption and Savings Balances of the Elderly: Experimental Evidence on Survey Response Bias," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 353-392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Ziegelmeyer, 2013. "Illuminate the unknown: evaluation of imputation procedures based on the SAVE survey," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 97(1), pages 49-76, January.
    2. Schunk, Daniel, 2007. "What determines the saving behavior of German households? : an examination of saving motives and saving decisions," Papers 07-10, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    3. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Schunk, Daniel, 2007. "The savings behaviour of German households: First Experiences with state promoted private pensions," MEA discussion paper series 07136, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Daniel Schunk, 2006. "The German SAVE Survey: Documentation and Methodology," MEA discussion paper series 06109, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Daniel Schunk, 2007. "A Markov Chain Monte Carlo Multiple Imputation Procedure for Dealing with Item Nonresponse in the German SAVE Survey," MEA discussion paper series 07121, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    6. Thomas F. Crossley & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "Asking Households about Expenditures: What Have We Learned?," NBER Chapters, in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 23-50, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pfarr, Christian & Schmid, Andreas, 2013. "The political economics of social health insurance: the tricky case of individuals’ preferences," MPRA Paper 44534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Essig, Lothar, 2005. "Methodological aspects of the SAVE data set," Papers 05-17, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    9. Pfarr, Christian, 2012. "Meltzer-Richard and social mobility hypothesis: revisiting the income-redistribution nexus using German choice data," MPRA Paper 43325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Daniel Schunk, 2008. "A Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm for multiple imputation in large surveys," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 92(1), pages 101-114, February.
    11. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Müller, Gerrit & Riphahn, Regina T., 2015. "Survey misreporting of welfare receipt—Respondent, interviewer, and interview characteristics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 103-107.
    12. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Methodological aspects of the SAVE data set," MEA discussion paper series 05080, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    13. Beatrice Scheubel & Joachim Winter, 2008. "Rente mit 67: Wie lange die Deutschen arbeiten können und wollen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(01), pages 26-32, January.
    14. repec:mea:meawpa:12258 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Schunk Daniel, 2009. "What Determines Household Saving Behavior: An Examination of Saving Motives and Saving Decisions 06.01.2009," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(4), pages 467-491, August.
    16. Christian Pfarr & Andreas Schmid, 2016. "Redistribution through social health insurance: evidence on citizen preferences," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(5), pages 611-628, June.

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    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

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