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Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP1992-02 or SIPP-WP-165
K. Bogen, J. C. Moore and K. H. Marquis
Component ID: #ti744655071


This paper describes the development, design, and initial testing of experimental data collection procedures for the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).  The new procedures derive from prior research indicating the amount of measurement error in some of SIPP’s basic statistics (and the important implications of the errors for standard analytical uses of the data), and suggesting the cognitive bases of reporting errors.  The key features of the redesigned procedures are:  a clear, consistent message to all survey participants that the primary goal is response accuracy; and a recognition that because accurate data are not easily accessible in memory, one needs to use income records.  Initial results from a small-scale test of the new procedures indicate a high rate of personal record use to report income flow, and reduced response error (as indicated by a reduction in the “seam bias”); on the negative side, the initial test suffered substantially greater nonresponse than does standard SIPP, and possibly increased per-case cost.

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