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Reducing Panel Attrition: A Search for Effective Policy Instruments

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  • Daniel H. Hill
  • Robert J. Willis

Abstract

In this paper we develop a theory of the survey response decision process and apply it to the analysis of field office policy measures in an attempt to see which of these are effective in reducing panel attrition. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to assess the effectiveness of 1) reducing the length of the interview and 2) assigning the same initial interviewer wave after wave. There is virtually no evidence in the data that interview length affects subsequent wave response. Assigning the same interviewer wave after wave, however, has a strong positive effect on response rates.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:36:y:2001:i:3:p:416-438
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    1. Lillard, Lee A & Willis, Robert J, 1978. "Dynamic Aspects of Earning Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 985-1012, September.
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    3. 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 455-473, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0020 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M. & Groh-Samberg, Olaf, 2012. "Dealing With Incomplete Household Panel Data in Inequality Research," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 89-123.
    3. Thomas, Duncan & Witoelar, Firman & Frankenberg, Elizabeth & Sikoki, Bondan & Strauss, John & Sumantri, Cecep & Suriastini, Wayan, 2012. "Cutting the costs of attrition: Results from the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 108-123.
    4. Oliver Serfling, 2004. "The interaction between unit and item nonresponse in view of the reverse cooperation continuum," Working papers 2004/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    5. Kapteyn, Arie & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Smith, James P. & van Soest, Arthur, 2006. "Effects of Attrition and Non-Response in the Health and Retirement Study," IZA Discussion Papers 2246, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Chadi, Adrian, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100505, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Toomse, Mari, 2010. "Looking for a middle class bias: salary and co-operation in social surveys," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-03, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2003. "Missing Income Data in the German SOEP: Incidence, Imputation and its Impact on the Income Distribution," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 376, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Regina Riphahn & Oliver Serfling, 2005. "Item non-response on income and wealth questions," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 521-538.
    10. Joachim R. Frick & Kristina Krell, 2010. "Measuring Income in Household Panel Surveys for Germany: A Comparison of EU-SILC and SOEP," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 265, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Joachim Frick & Kristina Krell, 2011. "Einkommensmessungen in Haushaltspanelstudien für Deutschland: Ein Vergleich von EU-SILC und SOEP," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 5(3), pages 221-248, December.
    12. Loretti I. Dobrescu, 2015. "To Love or to Pay: Savings and Health Care in Older Age," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 254-299.
    13. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2007. "Item Non-Response and Imputation of Annual Labor Income in Panel Surveys from a Cross-National Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3043, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2011. "Re-engaging with Survey Non-respondents: The BHPS, SOEP and HILDA Survey Experience," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    15. Fertig, Michael & Schurer, Stefanie, 2007. "Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Germany – The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," Ruhr Economic Papers 20, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    16. 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, pages 133-157.
    17. Andrew Dabalen & Alvin Etang & Johannes Hoogeveen & Elvis Mushi & Youdi Schipper & Johannes von Engelhardt, 2016. "Mobile Phone Panel Surveys in Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 24595.
    18. Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel & Alexander D. Rothenberg, 2013. "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 285-316, May.
    19. Michael Fertig & Stefanie Schurer, 2007. "Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Germany – The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," Ruhr Economic Papers 0020, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Luis Ayala & Carolina Navarro & Mercedes Sastre, 2011. "Cross-country income mobility comparisons under panel attrition: the relevance of weighting schemes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(25), pages 3495-3521.
    21. Carine Burricand & Jean-Paul Lorgnet, 2014. "L’attrition dans l’enquête SRCV : déterminants et effets sur la mesure des variables monétaires," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 469(1), pages 19-35.
    22. Michael Fertig & Stefanie Schurer, 2007. "Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants in Germany: The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 30, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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