ISER Working Paper Series 2011-23
Can I just check...? Effects of edit check questions on measurement error and survey estimates
15 Sep 2011
Household income is difficult to measure, since it requires collecting information about all potential income sources for each member of a household. We assess the effects of two types of edit check questions on measurement error and survey estimates: within-wave edit checks use responses to questions earlier in the same interview to query apparent inconsistencies in responses; dependent interviewing uses responses from prior interviews to query apparent inconsistencies over time. The findings suggest that traditional interviewing methods under- estimate household income in the lower tail of the income distribution, but that neither edit check method has much effect on estimated poverty rates or transition rates in poverty.