Skip to main content
No Access

Measurement Error and Misclassification: A Comparison of Survey and Administrative Data

RANDRAND and University of Groningen

We provide both a theoretical and empirical analysis of the relation between administrative and survey data. By distinguishing between different sources of deviations between survey and administrative data we are able to reproduce several stylized facts. We illustrate the implications of different error sources for estimation in (simple) econometric models and find potentially very substantial biases. This article shows the sensitivity of some findings in the literature for the assumption that administrative data represent the truth. In particular, the common finding of substantial mean reversion in survey data largely goes away once we allow for a richer error structure.