Volume 4 Issue 5 October 2006 Applied Research Note 1

0-5 Heaping of Tourism Survey Expenditure Responses: Does it Matter?

by Tzung-Cheng (T.C.) Huan

Survey respondents often round responses to values ending in 0 or 5. Examination of bias from this for mean and total expenditures has not yet occurred. For fishing a 7% error due to heaping has been demonstrated. Such error can have practical consequences. Graphics for a Taiwan foreign visitor exit survey and for the Canadian travel survey are used to facilitate discussing 0-5 heaping and its consequences. One sees that distinctive heaping patterns exist suggesting that heaping bias can be understood and predicted. Practical and academic reasons to learn more about expenditure heaping and bias from it are considered.

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