Modern Econometric Analysis

pp 215-230

Survey Item Nonresponse and its Treatment

  • Susanne RässlerAffiliated withKompetenzzentrum für Empirische Methoden, IAB Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung
  • , Regina T. RiphahnAffiliated withLehrstuhl für Statistik und empirische Wirtschaftsforschung, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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One of the most salient data problems empirical researchers face is the lack of informative responses in survey data. This contribution briefly surveys the literature on item nonresponse behavior and its determinants before it describes four approaches to address item nonresponse problems: Casewise deletion of observations, weighting, imputation, and model-based procedures. We describe the basic approaches, their strengths and weaknesses and illustrate some of their effects using a simulation study. The paper concludes with some recommendations for the applied researcher.