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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
    as

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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 119-158.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 396-418.
    3. Charles A.M. de Bartolome, 2007. "Tax competition and the creation of redundant products," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1213-1236, November.
    4. Joni Hersch, 2005. "Smoking Restrictions as a Self-Control Mechanism," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 5-21, July.
    5. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household Expenditure; Survey Methods; Measurement Error;

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