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

  • Lothar Essig


  • Joachim Winter


    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

We analyze nonresponse to questions on financial items such as income and asset holdings in household surveys using data 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 vs. drop-off questionnaire). The data also allow to investigate the influence of interviewer characteristics on nonresponse. Our results are in line with predictions derived from models of survey response behavior that have been developed in survey research and social psychology.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 03039.

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Date of creation: 17 Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:03039
Contact details of provider: Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:att:wimass:9525 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Philipson, Tomas & Malani, Anup, 1999. "Measurement errors: A principal investigator-agent approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 273-298, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Joel L. Horowitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Censoring of Outcomes and Regressors Due To Survey Nonresponse: Identification and Estimation Using Weights and Imputations," Econometrics 9602007, EconWPA, revised 06 Mar 1996.
  7. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Improving the Quality of Economic Data: Lessons from the HRS and AHEAD," Labor and Demography 0402010, EconWPA.
  8. Regina Riphahn & Oliver Serfling, 2005. "Item non-response on income and wealth questions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 521-538, 09.
  9. Philipson, Tomas, 1997. "Data Markets and the Production of Surveys," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 47-72, January.
  10. Horowitz, Joel L & Manski, Charles F, 1995. "Identification and Robustness with Contaminated and Corrupted Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-302, March.
  11. 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.
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