Measurement Error in Retrospective Work Histories

  • Jose Pina Sánchez University of Manchester
  • Johan Koskinen University of Manchester
  • Ian Plewis University of Manchester
Keywords: Measurement error, survey, retrospective design, work history, administrative data

Abstract

Measurement error in retrospective reports of work status has been difficult to quantify in the past. Issues of confidentiality have made access to datasets linking survey responses to a valid administrative source very problematic. This study uses a Swedish register of unemployment as a benchmark against which responses from two survey questions are compared and hence the presence of measurement error elucidated. We carry out separate analyses for the different forms that measurement error in retrospective reports of unemployment can take: miscounting of the number of spells of unemployment, mismeasuring duration in unemployment, and misdating starts of spells and misclassification of status. The prevalence of measurement error for different social categories and interview formats is also examined, leading to a better understanding of the error-generating mechanisms that interact when interviewees are asked to produce retrospective reports of past work status.

Author Biographies

Jose Pina Sánchez, University of Manchester
Social Statistics PhD Student
Johan Koskinen, University of Manchester
Social Statistics Lecturer
Ian Plewis, University of Manchester
Social Statistics Professor
Published
2014-03-28
How to Cite
Pina Sánchez, J., Koskinen, J., & Plewis, I. (2014). Measurement Error in Retrospective Work Histories. Survey Research Methods, 8(1), 43-55. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2014.v8i1.5144
Section
Articles