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.
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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