Eliciting Information from Sensitive Survey Questions
44 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2020
Date Written: September 2, 2020
This paper considers how to elicit information from sensitive survey questions. First we thoroughly evaluate list experiments (LE), a leading method in the experimental literature on sensitive questions. Our empirical results demonstrate that the assumptions required to identify sensitive information in LE are violated for the majority of surveys. Next we propose a novel survey method, called Multiple Response Technique (MRT), for eliciting information from sensitive questions. We require all of the respondents to answer three questions related to the sensitive information. This technique recovers sensitive information at a disaggregated level while still allowing arbitrary misreporting in survey responses. An application of the MRT provides novel empirical evidence on sexual orientation and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)-related sentiment.
Keywords: list experiments, measurement error, sensitive information, sensitive questions, survey data, LGBT
JEL Classification: D8, C1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation