Answering Questions, Questioning Answers: Evaluating Data Quality in an Establishment Survey

Karen L. Goldenberg

Abstract

Every survey, by definition, asks respondents to answer questions. As the role of surveys has grown in importance in everyday life, we as researchers have also come to question respondents' answers. This paper describes a Response Analysis Survey (RAS), one approach used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to evaluate the quality of data obtained in an establishment survey. We use a RAS to question respondent answers by asking for additional information about individual responses and about the context within which respondents formulate those responses.