Bias in Self-reported Voting and How it Distorts Turnout Models: Disentangling Nonresponse Bias and Overreporting Among Danish Voters

Jens Olav Dahlgaard, Jonas Hedegaard Hansen, Kasper Møller Hansen, Yosef Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Most nonexperimental studies of voter turnout rely on survey data. However, surveys overestimate turnout because of (1) nonresponse bias and (2) overreporting. We investigate this possibility using a rich dataset of Danish voters, which includes validated turnout indicators from administrative data for both respondents and nonrespondents, as well as respondents’ self-reported voting from the Danish National Election Studies. We show that both nonresponse bias and overreporting contribute significantly to overestimations of turnout. Further, we use covariates from the administrative data available for both respondents and nonrespondents to demonstrate that both factors also significantly bias the predictors of turnout. In our case, we find that nonresponse bias and overreporting masks a gender gap of two and a half percentage points in women’s favor as well as a gap of 25 percentage points in ethnic Danes’ favor compared with Danes of immigrant heritage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Analysis
Volume27
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)590-598
Number of pages9
ISSN1047-1987
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Measurement error
  • Administrative data
  • Validated turnout
  • Voter turnout

Cite this

@article{5eb31aa1df1841a4bbf9472fcd82119e,
title = "Bias in Self-reported Voting and How it Distorts Turnout Models: Disentangling Nonresponse Bias and Overreporting Among Danish Voters",
abstract = "Most nonexperimental studies of voter turnout rely on survey data. However, surveys overestimate turnout because of (1) nonresponse bias and (2) overreporting. We investigate this possibility using a rich dataset of Danish voters, which includes validated turnout indicators from administrative data for both respondents and nonrespondents, as well as respondents’ self-reported voting from the Danish National Election Studies. We show that both nonresponse bias and overreporting contribute significantly to overestimations of turnout. Further, we use covariates from the administrative data available for both respondents and nonrespondents to demonstrate that both factors also significantly bias the predictors of turnout. In our case, we find that nonresponse bias and overreporting masks a gender gap of two and a half percentage points in women’s favor as well as a gap of 25 percentage points in ethnic Danes’ favor compared with Danes of immigrant heritage.",
keywords = "Measurement error, Administrative data, Validated turnout, Voter turnout, Measurement error, Administrative data, Validated turnout, Voter turnout",
author = "Dahlgaard, {Jens Olav} and Hansen, {Jonas Hedegaard} and Hansen, {Kasper M{\o}ller} and Yosef Bhatti",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1017/pan.2019.9",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "590--598",
journal = "Political Analysis",
issn = "1047-1987",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "4",

}

Bias in Self-reported Voting and How it Distorts Turnout Models : Disentangling Nonresponse Bias and Overreporting Among Danish Voters. / Dahlgaard, Jens Olav ; Hansen, Jonas Hedegaard; Hansen, Kasper Møller; Bhatti, Yosef.

In: Political Analysis, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2019, p. 590-598.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bias in Self-reported Voting and How it Distorts Turnout Models

T2 - Disentangling Nonresponse Bias and Overreporting Among Danish Voters

AU - Dahlgaard, Jens Olav

AU - Hansen, Jonas Hedegaard

AU - Hansen, Kasper Møller

AU - Bhatti, Yosef

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Most nonexperimental studies of voter turnout rely on survey data. However, surveys overestimate turnout because of (1) nonresponse bias and (2) overreporting. We investigate this possibility using a rich dataset of Danish voters, which includes validated turnout indicators from administrative data for both respondents and nonrespondents, as well as respondents’ self-reported voting from the Danish National Election Studies. We show that both nonresponse bias and overreporting contribute significantly to overestimations of turnout. Further, we use covariates from the administrative data available for both respondents and nonrespondents to demonstrate that both factors also significantly bias the predictors of turnout. In our case, we find that nonresponse bias and overreporting masks a gender gap of two and a half percentage points in women’s favor as well as a gap of 25 percentage points in ethnic Danes’ favor compared with Danes of immigrant heritage.

AB - Most nonexperimental studies of voter turnout rely on survey data. However, surveys overestimate turnout because of (1) nonresponse bias and (2) overreporting. We investigate this possibility using a rich dataset of Danish voters, which includes validated turnout indicators from administrative data for both respondents and nonrespondents, as well as respondents’ self-reported voting from the Danish National Election Studies. We show that both nonresponse bias and overreporting contribute significantly to overestimations of turnout. Further, we use covariates from the administrative data available for both respondents and nonrespondents to demonstrate that both factors also significantly bias the predictors of turnout. In our case, we find that nonresponse bias and overreporting masks a gender gap of two and a half percentage points in women’s favor as well as a gap of 25 percentage points in ethnic Danes’ favor compared with Danes of immigrant heritage.

KW - Measurement error

KW - Administrative data

KW - Validated turnout

KW - Voter turnout

KW - Measurement error

KW - Administrative data

KW - Validated turnout

KW - Voter turnout

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=110978979592365&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.1017/pan.2019.9

DO - 10.1017/pan.2019.9

M3 - Journal article

VL - 27

SP - 590

EP - 598

JO - Political Analysis

JF - Political Analysis

SN - 1047-1987

IS - 4

ER -