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Messung und Erklärung von Schwarzarbeit in Deutschland – Eine empirische Befragungsstudie unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Problems der sozialen Erwünschtheit / Measuring and Explaining Undeclared Work in Germany – An Empirical Survey with a Special Focus on Social Desirability Bias

Authors
  • Kirchner, Antje
  • Krumpal, Ivar
  • Trappmann, Mark
  • Hermanni, Hagen von
Type
Published Article
Journal
Zeitschrift für Soziologie
Publisher
Lucius & Lucius
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2013
Volume
42
Issue
4
Pages
291–314
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/zfsoz-2013-0403
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This article explores methods used to obtain a higher validity in estimates of the prevalence of undeclared work in Germany in surveys within the general population. Using an experimental design two “dejeopardizing” techniques are compared as alternatives to direct questioning when asking sensitive questions: the randomized response technique (RRT) and the item count technique (ICT). These techniques were specifically developed to reduce misreporting on sensitive topics: The goal is to elicit a higher proportion of honest answers from respondents by increasing the anonymity of the question-and-answer process. Our results suggest that neither RRT nor ICT provide unambiguous results with respect to more successful elicitation of reports of socially undesirable behavior. In addition, the theoretically significant influence of background variables is investigated empirically by means of multiple regression. Factors which foster illicit work are, aside from opportunity structures, social norms, which contribute significantly to the explanation of individual decisions to engage in undeclared work.

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