Article

Demography

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 395-399

First online:

The accuracy of survey-reported marital status: Evidence from survey records matched to social security records

  • David A. WeaverAffiliated withDivision of Economic Research, Social Security Administration Email author 

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Abstract

Researchers have concluded that divorced persons often fail to report accurate marital information in surveys. I revisit this issue using surveys matched exactly to Social Security data. Older divorced persons frequently misreport their marital status, but there is evidence that the misreporting is unintentional. I offer some suggestions on how surveys can be improved.