Multiple Visits and Data Quality in Household Surveys

Multiple Visits and Data Quality in Household Surveys In order to increase data quality some household surveys visit the respondent households several times to estimate one measure of consumption. For example, in Ghanaian Living Standards Measurement surveys, households are visited up to 10 times over a period of 1 month. I find strong evidence for conditioning effects as a result of this approach: In the Ghanaian data the estimated level of consumption is a function of the number of prior visits, with consumption being highest in the earlier survey visits. Telescoping (perceiving events as being more recent than they are) or seasonality (first‐of‐the‐month effects) cannot explain the observed pattern. To study whether earlier or later survey visits are of higher quality, I employ a strategy based on Benford's law. Results suggest that the consumption data from earlier survey visits are of higher quality than data from later visits. The findings have implications for the value of additional visits in household surveys, and also shed light on possible measurement problems in high‐frequency panels. They add to a recent literature on measurement errors in consumption surveys (Beegle et al., , Gibson et al., ), and complement findings by Zwane et al. () regarding the effect of surveys on subsequent behaviour. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oxford Bulletin of Economics & Statistics Wiley

Multiple Visits and Data Quality in Household Surveys

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 The Department of Economics, University of Oxford and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0305-9049
eISSN
1468-0084
D.O.I.
10.1111/obes.12196
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In order to increase data quality some household surveys visit the respondent households several times to estimate one measure of consumption. For example, in Ghanaian Living Standards Measurement surveys, households are visited up to 10 times over a period of 1 month. I find strong evidence for conditioning effects as a result of this approach: In the Ghanaian data the estimated level of consumption is a function of the number of prior visits, with consumption being highest in the earlier survey visits. Telescoping (perceiving events as being more recent than they are) or seasonality (first‐of‐the‐month effects) cannot explain the observed pattern. To study whether earlier or later survey visits are of higher quality, I employ a strategy based on Benford's law. Results suggest that the consumption data from earlier survey visits are of higher quality than data from later visits. The findings have implications for the value of additional visits in household surveys, and also shed light on possible measurement problems in high‐frequency panels. They add to a recent literature on measurement errors in consumption surveys (Beegle et al., , Gibson et al., ), and complement findings by Zwane et al. () regarding the effect of surveys on subsequent behaviour.

Journal

Oxford Bulletin of Economics & StatisticsWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

References

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