The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

How reliable are income data collected with a single question?

Micklewright, John and Schnepf, Sylke V. (2009) How reliable are income data collected with a single question? , Southampton, UK Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute 32pp. (S3RI Applications & Policy Working Papers).

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

Income is an important correlate for numerous phenomena in the social sciences. But many surveys collect data with just a single question covering all forms of income. This raises issues of quality, and these are heightened when individuals are asked about the household total rather than own income alone. Data are typically banded, implying a loss of information. We investigate the reliability of ‘single-question’ data using the ONS Omnibus and British Social Attitudes (BSA) surveys as examples. We first compare the distributions of income in these surveys – individual income in the Omnibus and household income in the BSA – with those in two other much larger UK surveys that measure income in much greater detail. Second, we investigate an implication of restricting the single question to individual income and interviewing only one adult per household: total income in respondents’ households is unobserved. We therefore examine the relationship between individual and household income in one of the comparator surveys. Third, after imposing bands on comparator survey data, we measure the information loss from banding with Generalised Entropy indices. We then assess its impact on the use of income as a covariate. Disaggregation by gender proves fruitful in much of the analysis.

PDF 49499-01.pdf - Author's Original
Download (2MB)

More information

Published date: 2009
Additional Information: notValidatingIssn:1467985X notValidatingIssn:09641998

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 49499
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/49499
PURE UUID: 16536a1c-60ab-4ff3-92c5-18f6d9958f28

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Nov 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:56

Export record

Contributors

Author: John Micklewright

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×