Survey Item-Response Behavior as an Imperfect Proxy for Unobserved Ability: Theory and Application
Sonja de New and
Stefanie Schurer ()
Additional contact information
Stefanie Schurer: University of Sydney
No 11449, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
We develop and test an economic model of the cognitive and non-cognitive foundations of survey item-response behavior. We show that a summary measure of response behaviour - the survey item-response rate (SIRR) - varies with cognitive and less so with non-cognitive abilities, has a strong individual fixed component and is predictive of economic outcomes because of its relationship with ability. We demonstrate the usefulness of SIRR, although an imperfect proxy for cognitive ability, to reduce omitted-variable biases in estimated wage returns. We derive both necessary and sufficient conditions under which the use of an imperfect proxy reduces such biases, providing a general guideline for researchers.
Keywords: selection on unobservables; personality traits; survey item-response behavior; imperfect proxy variables; behavioral proxy; cognitive ability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 C18 C83 I20 J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 64 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-lma and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Survey item-response behavior as an imperfect proxy for unobserved ability: Theory and application (2018)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11449
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().