We assess measurement error in panel survey reports of social security benefit receipt, drawing on a unique validation study. Our aims are threefold. First, we quantify the incidence of measurement errors (under- and over-reporting). Second, we assess the extent to which this varies according to the questioning method that is used. Specifically, dependent interviewing has been proposed as a way to reduce under-reporting in some circumstances. We compare two versions of dependent interviewing with traditional independent interviewing in an experimental design. Third, we identify and assess new ways of reducing measurement error in panel surveys. We use data from a large-scale UK household panel survey and we consider six benefits. To assess the measurement error, a validation exercise was conducted, with administrative data on benefit receipt matched at the individual level to the survey microdata.
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