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Unanticipated Benefits of Compensating Survey Respondents

August 03, 2022
Shalise S. Ayromloo and Kelly R. Wilkin

Survey earnings data are the foremost source of available information on personal and household income in the United States. They provide a timely and complete picture of household earnings profiles to the public, policymakers and researchers that alternative sources of earnings measures (like the Social Security Administration’s Master Earnings File) cannot. Thus, the gradual increase in the share of survey respondents who do not provide their earnings in household surveys – the so-called earnings nonresponse rate – is concerning.

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