How high is unemployment? How low is labor force participation? Is obesity more prevalent among men? How large are household expenditures? We study the sources of the relevant official statistics-The Current Population Survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the Consumer Expenditure Survey-And find that the answers depend on whether we look at easy-or at difficult-To-reach respondents, measured by the number of call and visit attempts made by interviewers. A challenge to the (conditionally-)random-nonresponse assumption, these findings empirically substantiate the theoretical warning against making population-wide estimates from surveys with low response rates.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.