Social Security: 2004-14

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VALIDATION OF SURVEY DATA ON INCOME AND EMPLOYMENT: THE ISMIE EXPERIENCE Annette Jäckle, Emanuela Sala, Stephen P. Jenkins and Peter Lynn ISER Working Papers Number 2004-14 Institute for Social and Economic Research The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) specialises in the production and analysis of longitudinal data. ISER incorporates the following centres: ã ESRC Research Centre on Micro-social Change. Established in 1989 to identify, explain, model and forecast social chang
    VALIDATION OF SURVEY DATA ON INCOME AND EMPLOYMENT: THEISMIE EXPERIENCE Annette Jäckle, Emanuela Sala, Stephen P. Jenkins and Peter Lynn   ISER Working PapersNumber 2004-14    Institute for Social and Economic Research The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) specialises in the production and analysis of longitudinal data. ISER incorporates the following centres:  ã   ESRC Research Centre on Micro-social Change. Established in 1989 to identify, explain, modeland forecast social change in Britain at the individual and household level, the Centre specialises inresearch using longitudinal data. ã   ESRC UK Longitudinal Studies Centre. This national resource centre was established in October1999 to promote the use of longitudinal data and to develop a strategy for the future of large-scalelongitudinal surveys. It was responsible for the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and for theESRC’s interest in the National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study ã   European Centre for Analysis in the Social Sciences. ECASS is an interdisciplinary researchcentre which hosts major research programmes and helps researchers from the EU gain access tolongitudinal data and cross-national datasets from all over Europe.The British Household Panel Survey is one of the main instruments for measuring social change inBritain. The BHPS comprises a nationally representative sample of around 5,500 households and over10,000 individuals who are reinterviewed each year. The questionnaire includes a constant core ofitems accompanied by a variable component in order to provide for the collection of initial conditionsdata and to allow for the subsequent inclusion of emerging research and policy concerns.Among the main projects in ISER’s research programme are: the labour market and the division ofdomestic responsibilities; changes in families and households; modelling households’ labour forcebehaviour; wealth, well-being and socio-economic structure; resource distribution in the household; andmodelling techniques and survey methodology.BHPS data provide the academic community, policymakers and private sector with a unique nationalresource and allow for comparative research with similar studies in Europe, the United States andCanada.BHPS data are available from the Data Archive at the University of Essex Further information about the BHPS and other longitudinal surveys can be obtained by telephoning+44 (0) 1206 873543. The support of both the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the University of Essex is gratefully acknowledged. The work reported in this paper is part of the scientific programme of the Institute for Social and Economic Research  .    Acknowledgement :   This paper derives from a project on ‘Improving survey measurement of income and employment (ISMIE)’, funded by the ESRC Research Methods Programme,grant number H333250031. We also benefit from ISER’s core funding from the ESRC andthe University of Essex. We are grateful to our ISER colleagues, especially Nick Buck, JonBurton, John Fildes, Heather Laurie, Mike Merrett, and Fran Williams, for their assistance inproducing the ISMIE dataset. Readers wishing to cite this document are asked to use the following form of words:Jäckle, Annette, Emanuela Sala, Stephen P. Jenkins and Peter Lynn (July 2004) ‘Validation ofSurvey Data on Income and Employment: the ISMIE Experience’, Working Papers of the Institutefor Social and Economic Research, paper 2004-14. Colchester: University of Essex. For an on-line version of this working paper and others in the series, please visit the Institute’s websiteat :   Institute for Social and Economic ResearchUniversity of EssexWivenhoe ParkColchesterEssexCO4 3SQ UKTelephone: +44 (0) 1206 872957Fax: +44 (0) 1206 Website:    August 2004All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system ortransmitted, in any form, or by any means, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, withoutthe prior permission of the Communications Manager, Institute for Social and Economic Research.    Abstract This report derives from the project “Improving survey measurement of income andemployment (ISMIE)” which investigates measurement error in survey data on income andemployment, using a UK sub-sample of the European Household Community Panel (ECHP).In this paper we describe the process of collecting validation data and the outcomes of theprocess. Validation data were obtained from two sources: employers’ records andgovernment benefit data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The formerprovided information on occupation and employment status, gross and net pay, membershipof company pension schemes and industry sector. The latter provided histories of benefitreceipt and tax credits, for example, child, disability, housing and unemployment benefits,pensions and income support.In the survey interview, respondents were asked for written permission both to obtain theirDWP records and to contact their employer. They were also asked to provide information thatwould facilitate the process of obtaining the validation data: National Insurance number(NINO) and employer contact details. Subsequently, DWP records were extracted using anon-hierarchical matching strategy, based on different combinations of identifying variablesobtained in the survey (NINO, sex, date of birth, name and postcode), and a survey of employers was carried out (mail, with telephone follow-up).The representativeness of the validation samples obtained depends on the co-operation of both survey respondents and providers of validation data, as well as errors in the matchingprocess. We report permission rates, proportions providing matching items, match rates forthe DWP data and response rates to the employer survey. We identify correlates of thesemeasures of success at each stage of the validation process in terms of substantivecharacteristics of the survey respondents. Variation by subgroups is identified andimplications for the representativeness of the validation sample are discussed.
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