Studying Consumption Behaviour using Open-ended Text Questions


Studying Consumption Behaviour using Open-ended Text Questions


Thursday 19 October 2023, 12:30 — 13:45



Closed-format survey questions have long been favoured by economists because they produce quantitative data that are straight-forward to analyze. Open-format questions have been seen as useful only for qualitative exploratory investigations. However, recent developments in text analysis are expanding the possibilities for analyzing responses to open-format questions. Open-format questions have a number of advantages. They allow respondents to cite considerations that survey designers might not have thought to ask about ex ante, and avoid priming respondents to give particular responses.

Thomas Crossley is a Professor at the Survey Research Centre at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. He is also a co-director and Senior Economist at the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and a Co-investigator of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) and a former ONS fellow. Thomas has published over 50 peer reviewed articles on subjects including consumer behaviour, survey methodology and applied econometrics.

Chair: Peter Levell, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Discussant: Ellys Monahan, Office for National Statistics

Thomas Crossley

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