Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Misreporting to looping questions in surveys



"Looping questions are used to collect data about several similar events, such as employment spells, retirement accounts, or marriages. The questions collect information about the number of events experienced as well as details about each one. The questions require respondents to think hard to recall each event and are often lengthy and repetitive. Looping questions can be asked in two formats, and which format a survey uses may affect the quality of the data collected. We develop theory-based hypotheses about the effects that the choice of format has on measurement error in looping questions and test the hypotheses using experimental data from a recent web survey with a link to administrative records. Results show that one format collects more accurate event reports, but the other format provides higher quality data to the follow up questions. We conclude with guidance for those who write survey questions as well as those who rely on survey data for substantive analyses." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Further information


Bibliographical information

Eckman, Stephanie; Kreuter, Frauke (2015): Misreporting to looping questions in surveys * recall, motivation and burden. (IAB-Discussion Paper, 29/2015), N├╝rnberg, 24 p.