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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, ...
Eliciting GDP Forecasts from the FOMC’s Minutes Around the Financial Crisis
Stekler and Symington (2016) construct indexes that quantify the Federal Open Market Committee's views about the U.S. economy, as expressed in the minutes of the FOMC's meetings. These indexes provide insights on the FOMC's deliberations, especially at the onset of the Great Recession. The current paper complements Stekler and Symington's analysis by showing that their indexes reveal relatively minor bias in the FOMC's views when the indexes are reinterpreted as forecasts. Additionally, these indexes provide a proximate mechanism for inferring the Fed staff's Greenbook forecasts of the U.S. ...
Improved Estimation of Poisson Rate Distributions through a Multi-Mode Survey Design
Researchers interested in studying the frequency of events or behaviors among a population must rely on count data provided by sampled individuals. Often, this involves a decision between live event counting, such as a behavioral diary, and recalled aggregate counts. Diaries are generally more accurate, but their greater cost and respondent burden generally yield less data. The choice of survey mode, therefore, involves a potential tradeoff between bias and variance of estimators. I use a case study comparing inferences about payment instrument use based on different survey designs to ...