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The effects of income imputation on microanalyses: evidence from the European Community Household Panel

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Social surveys are usually affected by item and unit non-response. Since it is unlikely that a sample of respondents is a random sample, social scientists should take the missing data problem into account in their empirical analyses. Typically, survey methodologists try to simplify the work of data users by ‘completing’ the data, filling the missing variables through imputation. The aim of the paper is to give data users some guidelines on how to assess the effects of imputation on their microlevel analyses. We focus attention on the potential bias that is caused by imputation in the analysis of income variables, using the European Community Household Panel as an illustration.

Keywords: Income imputation; Item non-response; Panel data

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Essex, Colchester, UK 2: University of Rome ‘‘Tor Vergata’’, Italy

Publication date: July 1, 2006


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