An empirical analysis of the association between neighbourhood income and unit nonresponse in the survey of health, ageing and retirement in Europe

This paper estimates associations between individual and neighbourhood characteristics and unit nonresponse in a survey of the population aged 50 and over in the Netherlands in 2004. The statistical model includes interviewer fixed effects to control for the non-random distribution of addresses over interviewers. The empirical analysis shows that, relatively to individuals living inapartments, there is a lower unit nonresponse among individuals living in houses and a higher unit nonresponse among individuals living in old age institutions. Unit nonresponse is positivelyassociated with the size of a city. No age and gender effects are found. Unit nonresponse is about 25% lower among individuals in the top than among individuals in the bottom of the distributionof neighbourhood average income. This latter result implies that the response sample is biased towards individuals living in the more wealthy neighbourhoods.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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