NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Robert M. Goerge

Chapin Hall
University of Chicago
1313 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2018Errors in Survey Reporting and Imputation and their Effects on Estimates of Food Stamp Program Participation
with Bruce D. Meyer, Nikolas Mittag: w25143
Accurately measuring government benefit receipt in household surveys is necessary when studying disadvantaged populations and the programs that serve them. The Food Stamp Program is especially important given its size and recent growth. To validate survey reports, we use administrative data on participation in two states linked to the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). We find that 23 percent of true food stamp recipient households do not report receipt in the SIPP, 35 percent in the ACS, and fully 50 percent in the CPS. A substantial number of true non-recipients are also recorded as recipients, especially in the SIPP. We examine reasons for these errors including imputation, an important source ...
 
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