Definition: Reference period error

Social statistics

A type of false or mistaken result obtained in a survey or census which is due to the failure of the respondent to place past events in the proper time period, e.g., the reporting of a death which actually occurred two years ago when asked to report deaths for the past year.
Source:
United Nations, "Handbook on Training in Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems", Studies in Methods, Series F, No. 84, New York, 2002
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