Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2119238
 


 



The Item Count Method for Sensitive Survey Questions: Modelling Criminal Behaviour


Jouni Kuha


London School of Economics and Political Science

Jonathan Jackson


London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

July 28, 2012

Kuha, J. and Jackson, J., ‘The Item Count Method for Sensitive Survey Questions: Modelling Criminal Behaviour’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), Forthcoming

Abstract:     
The item count method is a way of asking sensitive survey questions which protects the anonymity of the respondents by randomization before the interview. It can be used to estimate the probability of sensitive behaviour and to model how it depends on explanatory variables. We analyse item count survey data on the illegal behaviour of buying stolen goods. The analysis of an item count question is best formulated as an instance of modelling incomplete categorical data. We propose an efficient implementation of the estimation which also provides explicit variance estimates for the parameters. We then suggest specifications for the model for the control items, which is an auxiliary but unavoidable part of the analysis of item count data. These considerations and the results of our analysis of criminal behaviour highlight the fact that careful design of the questions is crucial for the success of the item count method.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Categorical data analysis, EM algorithm, List experiment, Missing information, Newton-Raphson algorithm, Randomized response

JEL Classification: K40

Accepted Paper Series





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Date posted: July 29, 2012 ; Last revised: March 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Kuha, Jouni and Jackson, Jonathan, The Item Count Method for Sensitive Survey Questions: Modelling Criminal Behaviour (July 28, 2012). Kuha, J. and Jackson, J., ‘The Item Count Method for Sensitive Survey Questions: Modelling Criminal Behaviour’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2119238 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2119238

Contact Information

Jouni Kuha (Contact Author)
London School of Economics and Political Science ( email )
Jonathan Jackson
London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)
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