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Activity Number: 395 - Connecting Parallel Universes
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Survey Research Methods Section
Abstract #304350 Presentation
Title: Are Survey Data Underestimating the Inequality of Net Wealth?
Author(s): Tairi Room* and Jaanika Merikull
Companies: Bank of Estonia and Bank of Estonia
Keywords: unit non-response; item non-response; wealth survey; income survey; wealth distribution; Household Finance and Consumption Survey

This paper uses administrative data from registers and survey data from interviews to analyse unit and item non-response in a wealth survey. The Estonian Household Finance and Consumption Survey is used, which has a unique feature that the survey data are complemented by information from administrative sources for all the persons sampled. The results show that unit non-response pattern is quite different for income and wealth, the non-response is decreasing with income and increasing with wealth. The unit and item non-response are negatively but not strongly correlated for wealth components. This implies that the underestimation of wealth inequality due to unit non-response is somewhat offset by the overestimation of wealth inequality due to item non-response. Our findings suggest that unit and item non-response have only minor role on the estimation of inequality in surveys.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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