Income Source Confusion Using the SILC

Christopher Robert Bollinger, Iva Valentinova Tasseva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We use a unique panel of household survey data - the Austrian version of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) for 2008-2011 - which have been linked to individual administrative records on both state unemployment benefits and earnings. We assess the extent and structure of misreporting across similar benefits and between benefits and earnings. We document that many respondents fail to report participation in one or more of the unemployment programs. Moreover, they inflate earnings for periods when they are unemployed but receiving unemployment compensation. To demonstrate the impact of income source confusion on estimators, we estimate standard Mincer wage equations. Since unemployment is associated with lower education, the reports of unemployment benefits as earnings bias downward the returns to education. Failure to report unemployment benefits also leads to substantial sample bias when selecting on these benefits, as one might in estimating the returns to job training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-574
Number of pages33
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of American Association for Public Opinion Research.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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