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Empirical Research on Households’ Saving and Retirement Security: First Steps towards an Innovative Triple‐Linked‐Dataset

  • Coppola, Michela


  • Lamla, Bettina


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

There is an increasing interest among social scientists in merging survey data with administrative records from social security institutions. Record linkage represents one way to combine different sources using a unique identifier such as the Social Security number. The informed consent of the respondents however is required, which in turn might induce bias to the consent question and even threaten stability in a panel study. Data from the longitudinal household survey “Saving and old‐age Provision in Germany” (SAVE) are used for analysis of consent rates and patterns. In the latest wave of the study participants have been asked to provide their written consent to link their answers to administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency which also includes information on the respondents’ employers. The combined data set will open new avenues for research on the link between institutions, saving behavior and old‐age provision: The survey data contains information on private pension and non‐pension wealth which will be complemented by complete employment histories. Moreover, from the administrative data entitlements to public pensions can be derived, while an employer survey will shed more light on the diffusion of occupational pensions. SAVE is mainly conducted as a self‐administered paper and pencil (P&P) questionnaire, while existing research is based on personal interviews. Given a response rate of 81% of the participants and a consent rate of 58%, asking for consent appears feasible in a P&P design. There is evidence for mild consent bias. However, considering correlations between giving the consent and a series of socio‐demographic variables, as well as variables capturing respondents’ motivation and willingness can explain variation in the consent only to a small extent. We conclude that most of the variation is random.

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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 12258.

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Date of creation: 17 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:12258
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. Lothar Essig & Joachim K. Winter, 2009. "Item Non-Response to Financial Questions in Household Surveys: An Experimental Study of Interviewer and Mode Effects," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(Special I), pages 367-390, December.
  2. repec:ese:iserwp:2004-27 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," IZA Discussion Papers 3481, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stephen P. Jenkins & Lorenzo Cappellari & Peter Lynn & Annette Jäckle & Emanuela Sala, 2005. "Patterns of Consent: Evidence from a General Household Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 490, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
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