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Effects of Attrition and Non-Response in the Health and Retirement Study

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Author Info

  • Kapteyn, Arie

    ()
    (University of Southern California)

  • Michaud, Pierre-Carl

    ()
    (University of Québec at Montréal)

  • Smith, James P.

    ()
    (RAND)

  • van Soest, Arthur

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

We study the effect of attrition and other forms of non-response on the representativity over time of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) sample born 1931-1941; the sample was initially drawn in 1992. Although some baseline characteristics of respondents do appear correlated with non-response over time, the 2002 sample of respondents does not appear to suffer significantly from selection on observables, except for race and ethnicity; for these two observables, longitudinal weights based on the Current Population Survey (CPS) can be used and are provided with the data set. We attribute this lack of selection to the fact that attritors who differ most eventually come back to the survey in waves prior to 2002. Although this allows cross-sections to remain fairly representative in later waves, it suggests that longitudinal analysis should use the unbalanced sample rather than the balanced sample of those interviewed in all waves. Individuals who attrit but who are recruited back into the survey are very different from those who are permanent attritors to the HRS. Finally, we investigate the selective nature of the decision of respondents to grant HRS permission to access their Social Security records and of the non-response introduced by employers of pension policyholders not providing HRS with worker’s Summary Plan Descriptions. We find that subsamples for which such information is available are selective on a number of dimensions, such as education and other socioeconomic status (SES) outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2246.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Temporary and permanent unit non-response in follow-up interviews of the Health and Retirement Study' in: Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 2011, 2 (2), 145 - 169
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2246

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Keywords: economics of aging; non-response; administrative records; attrition;

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References

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  1. Joel L. Horowitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Censoring of Outcomes and Regressors Due To Survey Nonresponse: Identification and Estimation Using Weights and Imputations," Econometrics 9602007, EconWPA, revised 06 Mar 1996.
  2. O. Attanasio & H. W. Hoynes, . "Differential mortality and wealth accumulation," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1079-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  3. J. Fitzgerald & P. Gottschalk & R. Moffitt, . "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1156-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder & Donald B. Rebin, 1998. "Combining Panel Data Sets with Attrition and Refreshment Samples," NBER Technical Working Papers 0230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2000. "Non Random Selection in the HRS Social Security Earnings Sample," Working Papers 00-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Daniel H. Hill & Robert J. Willis, 2001. "Reducing Panel Attrition: A Search for Effective Policy Instruments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 416-438.
  7. Lee A. Lillard & Constantijn W. A. Panis, 1998. "Panel Attrition from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics: Household Income, Marital Status, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 437-457.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1979. "Attrition Bias in Experimental and Panel Data: The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 455-73, March.
  9. Juster, F. Thomas & Smith, James P. & Stafford, Frank, 1999. "The measurement and structure of household wealth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 253-275, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Carl Michaud & Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zheng & Adam Gailey, 2009. "Understanding the Economic Consequences of Shifting Trends in Population Health," NBER Working Papers 15231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka & Olaf Groh-Samberg, 2010. "Dealing with Incomplete Household Panel Data in Inequality Research," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 991, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Slade, Alexander N., 2012. "Health investment decisions in response to diabetes information in older Americans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 502-520.
  4. Xiaoyan Li & Nicole Maestas, 2008. "Does the Rise in the Full Retirement Age Encourage Disability Benefits Applications? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Working Papers wp198, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Tobias Stucki, 2009. "How Long Do External Capital Constraints Matter?," KOF Working papers 09-241, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  6. John L. Czajka & Gabrielle Denmead, 2008. "Income Data for Policy Analysis: A Comparative Assessment of Eight Surveys," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6195, Mathematica Policy Research.
  7. Dave, Dhaval & Saffer, Henry, 2008. "Alcohol demand and risk preference," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 810-831, December.

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