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Journal Article

Does repeated measurement improve income data quality?


Publication date

Oct 2019


This paper exploits a natural experiment created by a survey design to show that the quality of income data systematically changes across waves of a panel. We estimate that the effect of being interviewed for a second time, relative to the first, is to increase mean monthly income by 8%. Dependent interviewing – a recall device commonly used in panel surveys – explains one third of the observed increase. The remaining share is attributed to changes in respondent behaviour (panel conditioning). We review the evidence for and against a reporting improvement vs. a behavioural response by survey participants.

Published in

Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics

Volume and page numbers

81 , 989 -1011





Economics, Survey Methodology, and Income Dynamics


Open Access; This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.; © 2019 The Authors. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics published by Oxford University and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Related publications

  1. Does repeated measurement improve income data quality?

    Paul Fisher

    1. Economics
    2. Survey Methodology
    3. Income Dynamics


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