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Heterogeneous interpretation of “household expenditure” in survey reports: Evidence and implications of bias

Author

Listed:
  • David Comerford

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin; School of Economics, University College Dublin.)

  • Liam Delaney

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin; School of Economics, University College Dublin; School of Public Health and Population Science, University College Dublin.)

Abstract

This paper addresses respondents’ interpretation of the term “household expenditure” when answering survey questions. A sizeable minority of respondents do not attempt to include all transactions made by every household member, interpreting the question as eliciting individual consumption. This biases estimates of expenditure downward. Furthermore, this bias is predicted by respondent characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • David Comerford & Liam Delaney, 2010. "Heterogeneous interpretation of “household expenditure” in survey reports: Evidence and implications of bias," Working Papers 201029, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201029
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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201029.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    Keywords

    Household Expenditure; Survey Methods; Measurement Error;

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