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Author:Hitczenko, Marcin 

Working Paper
Modeling anchoring effects in sequential Likert scale questions
Surveys in many different research fields rely on sequences of Likert scale questions to assess individuals' general attitudes toward a set of related topics. Most analyses of responses to such a series do not take into account the potential measurement error introduced by the context effect we dub "sequential anchoring," which occurs when the rating for one question influences the rating given to the following question by favoring similar ratings. The presence of sequential anchoring can cause systematic bias in the study of relative ratings. We develop a latent-variable framework for question responses that capitalizes on different question orderings in the survey to identify the presence of sequential anchoring. We propose a parameter estimation algorithm and run simulations to test its effectiveness for different data-generating processes, sample sizes, and orderings. Finally, the model is applied to data in which eight payment instruments are rated on a five-point scale for each of six payment characteristics in the 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice. We find consistent evidence of sequential anchoring, resulting in sizable differences in properties of relative ratings for certain instruments.
AUTHORS: Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2013-12-09

Working Paper
Optimal recall period length in consumer payment surveys
Surveys in many academic fields ask respondents to recall the number of events that occurred over a specific period of time with the goal of learning about the mean frequency of these events among the population. Research has shown that the choice of the recall period, particularly the length, affects the results by influencing the cognitive recall process. We combine experimental recall data with use data to learn about this relationship in the context of consumer payments, specifically for the mean frequency of use of the four most popular payment instruments (cash, credit card, debit card, check). Overall, our analysis suggests that day-based recall is inefficient, with mean-squared errors of population estimates minimized for longer recall periods, although the optimal recall period differs among payment instruments. In addition, for cash, we develop a model relating recalled values to individual frequency of use in order to study the relationship between demographic variables and accuracy at different recall lengths. We find little link between demographic characteristics and accuracy of different recall periods for an individual.
AUTHORS: Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2013-12-01

Working Paper
Measuring unfamiliar economic concepts: the case of prepaid card adoption
Recent evidence suggests that the use of prepaid cards is growing in the United States. The study of how prepaid cards fit into the existing payments market requires accurate data about the adoption of prepaid cards among consumers. This paper describes several experiments conducted by the Consumer Payments Research Center that compare the efficacy of various question forms regarding reported adoption rates. A primary focus is on the effect of "disaggregation" or asking about adoption of a number of prepaid card categories sequentially rather than asking about adoption of prepaid cards as a whole. We find strong evidence that increases in the number of categories yield higher adoption rates. Findings about the robustness of responses with changes in a few aspects of the question are also discussed.
AUTHORS: Tai, Mingzhu; Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2014-06-18

Working Paper
The influence of gender and income on the household division of financial responsibility
This paper studies how gender and income dynamics influence the division of responsibility in two-adult households for various activities, including those tasks directly related to financial decisionmaking. The data, from the 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, consist of the respondents? categorical self-assessments of their individual levels of responsibility for various tasks. A data construct, in which some households have both adults participate in the survey, is exploited to develop a penalized latent variable model that accounts for systemic response errors. The data reveal that that women, even when they are the primary earner, are much more likely than men to have the major responsibility for household shopping and bill paying. With regard to financial decisionmaking, however, there is a greater propensity to share responsibility equally, and income ranking is more important than gender in defining household roles, with higher earners more likely to have a larger share of responsibility.
AUTHORS: Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2016-10-17

Report
The 2015 and 2016 diaries of consumer payment choice: technical appendix
This document serves as the technical appendix to the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) administered by the Center for Economic and Social Research. The DCPC is a study designed primarily to collect data on financial transactions over a three-day period by U.S. consumers ages 18 and older. In this data report, we detail the technical aspects of the survey design, implementation, and analysis.
AUTHORS: Angrisani, Marco; Foster, Kevin; Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2018-03-01

Report
The 2011 and 2012 Surveys of Consumer Payment Choice: technical appendix
This document serves as the technical appendix to the 2011 and 2012 Surveys of Consumer Payment Choice. The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) is an annual study designed primarily to study the evolving attitudes to and use of various payment instruments by consumers over the age of 18 in the United States. The main report, which introduces the survey and discusses the principal economic results, can be found on http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/cprc/SCPC. In this data report, we detail the technical aspects of the survey design, implementation, and analysis.
AUTHORS: Foster, Kevin; Angrisani, Marco; Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2014-10-01

Report
The 2014 survey of consumer payment choice: technical appendix
This document serves as the technical appendix to the 2014 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice administered by the RAND Corporation. The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) is an annual study designed primarily to collect data on attitudes to and use of various payment instruments by consumers over the age of 18 in the United States. The main report, which introduces the survey and discusses the principal economic results, can be found at http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/cprc/SCPC. In this data report, we detail the technical aspects of the survey design, implementation, and analysis.
AUTHORS: Angrisani, Marco; Foster, Kevin; Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2016-07-01

Report
Battery order effects on relative ratings in Likert scales
Likert-scale batteries, sequences of questions with the same ordinal response choices, are often used in surveys to collect information about attitudes on a related set of topics. Analysis of such data often focuses on the study of relative ratings or the likelihood that one item is given a lower (or higher) rating than another item. This work studies how different orderings of the items within a battery and, in particular, the relative location of items affect relative rating distributions. We take advantage of data from the 2012?2014 Survey of Consumer Payment Surveys, in which item order in six Likert-scale batteries is varied among respondents. We find that ordering effects are real and consistent across years. The most prominent effect relating to relative locations of items is that the farther one item is placed after another item, the more likely that item is to have a lower rating.
AUTHORS: Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2017-07-24

Report
Estimating population means in the 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice
This report examines the effect of adding to a longitudinal panel on estimates of population parameters in the 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) more than 1,000 newly recruited respondents specifically targeted to fill segments of the U.S. population that tend to be underbanked and underrepresented in the longitudinal panel. In many ways, the new respondents have fundamentally different characteristics from the ongoing respondents. To minimize confounding sources of change to annual estimates when making comparisons across years, the official 2012 SCPC publication was based on the longitudinal panel only. This research data report presents estimates based on all available responses and evaluates the effect of the additional panel on these estimates. A complete set of 2012 SCPC tables with estimates based on the full sample accompanies this report.
AUTHORS: Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2015-04-20

Report
Identifying and evaluating sample selection bias in consumer payment surveys
Making meaningful inferences based on survey data depends on the ability to recognize and adjust for discrepancies between the survey respondents and the target population; this partly involves understanding how survey samples differ with respect to heterogeneous clusters of the population. Ex post adjustments for unbiased population parameter estimates are usually based on easily measured variables with known distributions in the target population, like age, gender, or income. This paper focuses on identifying and assessing the effect of an overlooked source of heterogeneity and potential selection bias related to household structure and dynamics. In household economies, tasks are often concentrated among a subset of the household members, so individual differences in behavior are related to performing different roles within the household. When the sampling involves selecting individuals from within households, a tendency to choose certain types of members for participation in a survey can result in unrepresentative samples and biased estimates for any variable relating to the respondent's household duties. The Boston Fed's Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) seeks to estimate parameters, such as the average number of monthly payments, for the entire U.S. population. This data report exploits the fact that in the 2012 SCPC some respondents come from the same household, a unique feature that enables a study of the presence and ramifications of this type of selection bias when asking about household financial decisionmaking and payment choice. Using a two-stage statistical analysis, the survey answers are adjusted for a response error to estimate a latent variable that represents each respondent's share of financial responsibility for the household.
AUTHORS: Hitczenko, Marcin
DATE: 2015-11-23

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