Objectives. Most researchers who use survey data must grapple with the problem of how best to handle missing information. This article illustrates multiple imputation, a technique for estimating missing values in a multivariate setting.
Methods. I use multiple imputation to estimate missing income data and update a recent study that examines the influence of parents' standard of living on subjective well-being. Using data from the 1998 General Social Survey, two ordered probit models are estimated: one using complete cases only, and the other replacing missing income data with multiple imputation estimates.
Results. The analysis produces two major findings: (1) parents' standard of living is more important than suggested by the complete cases model, and (2) using multiple imputation can help reduce standard errors.
Conclusions. Multiple imputation allows a researcher to use more of the available data, thereby reducing biases that may occur when observations with missing data are simply deleted.