Ruben L. Bach, Stephanie Eckman, Jessica Daikeler
Misreporting Among Reluctant Respondents

Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 2020: 8, issue 3, pp. 566–588
ISSN: 2325-0984 (print), 2325-0992 (online)

Many surveys aim to achieve high response rates to keep bias due to nonresponse low. However, research has shown that the relationship between the nonresponse rate and nonresponse bias is small. In fact, high response rates may lead to measurement error, if respondents with low response propensities provide survey responses of low quality. In this paper, we explore the relationship between response propensity and measurement error, specifically, motivated misreporting, the tendency to give inaccurate answers to speed through an interview. Using data from four surveys conducted in several countries and modes, we analyze whether motivated misreporting is worse among those respondents who were the least likely to respond to the survey. Contrary to the prediction of our theoretical model, we find only limited evidence that reluctant respondents are more likely to misreport.