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Design effects in survey-based measures of household consumption

  • Winter, Joachim

    ()

    (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

An important issue in designing survey questions on household consumption is the level of aggregation of expenditure categories. In this paper, I present experimental evidence on biases that are related to the choice of expenditure categories. Comparing responses to a 'one shot' question with responses to a more disaggregated design that comprises 35 expenditure categories reveals significant underreporting in the one-shot question. The same holds true when responses to one of these still relatively broad categories (food and beverages) are compared with measures from a budget survey that is based on a very detailed expenditure diary. There is also some evidence that these biases affect subsequent substantive economic analysis such as the estimation of Engel curves.

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File URL: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp02-34.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 02-34.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 00 0000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:02-34
Note: Financial support was provided by the European Union (TMR project
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  1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000. "The German Savings Puzzle," Discussion Papers 594, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
  2. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 77, McMaster University.
  3. Ziliak, James P., 1998. "Does the choice of consumption measure matter? An application to the permanent-income hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 201-216, February.
  4. Lanjouw, Jean Olson & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "How to Compare Apples and Oranges: Poverty Measurement Based on Different Definitions of Consumption," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 25-42, March.
  5. Skinner, Jonathan, 1987. "A superior measure of consumption from the panel study of income dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 213-216.
  6. Philipson, Tomas, 2001. "Data Markets, Missing Data, and Incentive Pay," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1099-1111, July.
  7. Menno Pradhan, 2001. "Welfare Analysis with a Proxy Consumption Measure – Evidence from a Repeated Experiment in Indonesia," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-092/2, Tinbergen Institute.
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