What did you really earn last year?: explaining measurement error in survey income data

Angel, Stefan and Disslbacher, Franziska and Humer, Stefan and Schnetzer, Matthias (2019) What did you really earn last year?: explaining measurement error in survey income data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 182 (4). pp. 1411-1437. ISSN 1467-985X

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The paper analyses the sources of income measurement error in surveys with a unique data set. We use the Austrian 2008-2011 waves of the European Union "Statistics on income and living conditions" survey which provide individual information on wages, pensions and unemployment benefits from survey interviews and officially linked administrative records. Thus, we do not have to fall back on complex two-sample matching procedures like related studies. We empirically investigate four sources of measurement error, namely social desirabil- ity, sociodemographic characteristics of the respondent, the survey design and the presence of learning effects. We find strong evidence for a social desirability bias in income reporting, whereas the presence of learning effects is mixed and depends on the type of income under consideration. An Owen value decomposition reveals that social desirability is a major expla- nation of misreporting in wages and pensions, whereas sociodemographic characteristics are most relevant for mismatches in unemployment benefits.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Stefan Humer's research is supported by funds from the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank anniversary fund, project 16728).
Keywords: Income measurement error; Register data; Response error; Survey data; Survey error; Survey methods
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik
Departments > Sozioökonomie > Wirtschaftsgeographie und Geoinformatik
Forschungsinstitute > Verteilungsfragen
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 13:40
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 09:40
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/90807/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7005


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