Implications of retrospective measurement error in event history analysis

Jose Pina-Sánchez, Johan Koskinen, Ian Plewis


It is commonly accepted that the use of retrospective questions in surveys makes interviewees face harder cognitive challenges and therefore leads to less precise measures than questions asking about current states. In this paper we evaluate the effect of using data derived from retrospective questions as the response variable in different event history analysis models: an accelerated life Weibull, an accelerated life exponential, a proportional hazards Cox, and a proportional odds logit. The impact of measurement error is assessed by a comparison of the estimates obtained when the models are specified using durations of unemployment derived from a retrospective question against those obtained using validation data derived from a register of unemployment. Results show large attenuation effects in all the regression coefficients. Furthermore, these effects are relatively similar across models.

Palabras clave

Measurement error; Event history analysis; Retrospective question; Register data; Unemployment.

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