IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

How Reliable are Income Data Collected with a Single Question?

  • John Micklewright

    ()

    (Depatment of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.)

  • Sylke V. Schnepf

    ()

    (School of Social Sciences and Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, University of Southampton)

Income is an important correlate for numerous phenomena in the social sciences. But many surveys collect data with just a single question covering all forms of income. This raises questions over the reliability of the data collected. Issues of reliability are heightened when individuals are asked about the household total rather than own income alone. We argue that the large literature on measuring incomes has not devoted enough attention to ‘single-question’ surveys. We investigate the reliability of single-question data using the ONS Omnibus survey and British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey as examples. We compare the distributions of income in these surveys – individual income in the Omnibus and household income in the BSA --- with those in two larger UK surveys that measure income in much greater detail. Distributions compare less well for household income than for individual income. Disaggregation by gender proves fruitful in much of the analysis. We also establish levels of item non-response to the income question in single-question surveys from a wide range of countries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://repec.ioe.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp0903.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 09-03.

as
in new window

Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Series A)
Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:0903
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
Phone: (44) (0)20 7612 6654. Eliminate (44) and add (0) if calling from inside the UK. Add (44) and eliminate (0) if calling from abroad.
Fax: (44) (0)20 7612 6686
Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:0903. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bilal Nasim)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.