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Cutting the costs of attrition: Results from the Indonesia Family Life Survey

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Author Info

  • Thomas, Duncan
  • Witoelar, Firman
  • Frankenberg, Elizabeth
  • Sikoki, Bondan
  • Strauss, John
  • Sumantri, Cecep
  • Suriastini, Wayan

Abstract

Attrition is the Achilles heel of longitudinal surveys. Drawing on our experience in the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS), we describe survey design and field strategies that contributed to minimizing attrition over four waves of the survey. The data are used to illustrate the selectivity of respondents who attrit from the survey and, also the selectivity of respondents who move from the place they were interviewed at baseline and are subsequently interviewed in a new location. The results provide insights into the nature of selection that will arise in studies that fail to track and interview movers. Attrition, and types of attrition, are related in complex ways to a broad array of characteristics measured at baseline. In addition, the evidence suggests attrition may be related to characteristics that are not observed in our baseline. Integrating IFLS with data from a Survey of Surveyors, we describe characteristics of both the interviewers and the interview that predict attrition in later waves. These characteristics point to possible strategies that may reduce levels of attrition and may also reduce the impact of attrition on the interpretation of behavioral models estimated with longitudinal data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 98 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 108-123

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:98:y:2012:i:1:p:108-123

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Attrition; Survey design; Indonesia;

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References

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  1. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2010. "Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 7759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Falaris, Evangelos M., 2003. "The effect of survey attrition in longitudinal surveys: evidence from Peru, Cote d'Ivoire and Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-157, February.
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  8. Becketti, Sean, et al, 1988. "The Panel Study of Income Dynamics after Fourteen Years: An Evaluatio n," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 472-92, October.
  9. Jeffrey E. Zabel, 1998. "An Analysis of Attrition in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Survey of Income and Program Participation with an Application to a Model of Labor Market Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 479-506.
  10. John A. Maluccio, 2004. "Using Quality of Interview Information to Assess Nonrandom Attrition Bias in Developing-Country Panel Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 91-109, 02.
  11. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2003. "Payoffs from Panels in Low-Income Countries: Economic Development and Economic Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 112-117, May.
  12. Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2004. "Lost but Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Labor and Demography 0408007, EconWPA.
  13. Thomas MaCurdy & Thomas Mroz & R. Mark Gritz, 1998. "An Evaluation of the National Longitudinal Survey on Youth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 345-436.
  14. Thomas, D. & Frankenberg, E. & Smith, J.P., 2000. "Lost But Not Forgotten Attribution and Follow-up in the Indonesian Family Life Survey," Papers 00-03, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  15. Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1988. "Labor markets in low-income countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 713-762 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adama BAH, 2013. "Estimating Vulnerability to Poverty using Panel data: Evidence from Indonesia," Working Papers 201325, CERDI.
  2. Lucia Rizzica, . "When the Cat\'s Away... The Effects of Spousal Migration on Investments on Children," Development Working Papers 361, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Martina Kirchberger, 2014. "Natural disasters and labour markets," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Switek, Malgorzata, 2012. "Internal Migration and Life Satisfaction: Well-Being Effects of Moving as a Young Adult," IZA Discussion Papers 7016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Sujarwoto & Gindo Tampubolon, 2011. "Child health and mothers’ social capital in Indonesia through crisis," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 14911, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  6. Sujarwoto, Sujarwoto & Tampubolon, Gindo, 2013. "Mother's social capital and child health in Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-9.
  7. Menéndez, Marta & Gignoux, Jérémie, 2012. "Critical periods and the long-run effects of income shocks on education: evidence from Indonesia," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6637, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. Antman, Francisca M., 2011. "The intergenerational effects of paternal migration on schooling and work: What can we learn from children's time allocations?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 200-208, November.
  9. Tampubolon, Gindo & Hanandita, Wulung, 2014. "Poverty and mental health in Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 20-27.
  10. Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde & Alice Mesnard & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2014. "Nutrition, information, and household behaviour: experimental evidence from Malawi," IFS Working Papers W14/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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