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Survey compliance and the distribution of income

  • Mistiaen, Johan A.
  • Ravallion, Martin

While it is improbable that households with different incomes are equally likely to participate in sample surveys, the lack of data for nonrespondents has hindered efforts to correct for the bias in measures of poverty and inequality. The authors demonstrate how the latent income effect on survey compliance can be estimated using readily available data on response rates across geographic areas. An application using the Current Population Survey for the United States indicates that compliance falls as income rises. Correcting for selective compliance appreciably increases mean income and inequality, but has only a small impact on poverty incidence up to commonly used poverty lines in the United States.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2956.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2956
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  1. Philipson, Tomas, 1997. "Data Markets and the Production of Surveys," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 47-72, January.
  2. Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Poverty rankings using noisy data on living standards," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 481-485, August.
  3. Chesher, Andrew & Schluter, Christian, 2002. "Welfare Measurement and Measurement Error," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 357-78, April.
  4. Lillard, Lee & Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1986. "What Do We Really Know about Wages? The Importance of Nonreporting and Census Imputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 489-506, June.
  5. Nijman, Theo & Verbeek, Marno, 1992. "Nonresponse in Panel Data: The Impact on Estimates of a Life Cycle Consumption Function," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(3), pages 243-57, July-Sept.
  6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The world distribution of income (estimated from individual country distributions)," Economics Working Papers 615, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2002.
  7. van Praag, Bernard M S & Hagenaars, Aldi J M & van Eck, Wim, 1983. "The Influence of Classification and Observation Errors on the Measurement of Income Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1093-108, July.
  8. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-64, July.
  9. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Non-response in panel data : The impact on estimates of a life cycle consumption function," Other publications TiSEM 3c661e33-2cd1-47f1-a7d9-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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