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Re-engaging with Survey Non-respondents: The BHPS, SOEP and HILDA Survey Experience

  • Nicole Watson
  • Mark Wooden

Previous research into the correlates and determinants of non-response in longitudinal surveys has focused exclusively on why it is that respondents at one survey wave choose not to participate at future waves. This is very understandable if non-response is always an absorbing state, but in many longitudinal surveys, and certainly most household panels, this is not the case. Indeed, in these surveys it is normal practice to attempt to make contact with many non-respondents at the next wave. This study differs from previous research by examining the process of re-engagement with previous wave non-respondents. Drawing on data from three national household panels it is found that the re-engagement decision is indeed distinctly different from the decision about continued participation. Further, these differences have clear implications for the way panel surveys should be administered given the desire to enhance overall response rates.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.373172.de/diw_sp0379.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 379.

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Length: 22 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp379
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  1. 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.
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  3. Burton, Jonathan & Laurie, Heather & Lynn, Peter, 2004. "The long-term effectiveness of refusal conversion procedures on longitudinal surveys," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Uhrig, S.C. Noah, 2008. "The nature and causes of attrition in the British Household Panel Study," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  5. Denise Hawkes & Ian Plewis, 2006. "Modelling non-response in the National Child Development Study," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(3), pages 479-491.
  6. 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.
  7. Cheti Nicoletti & Franco Peracchi, 2005. "Survey response and survey characteristics: microlevel evidence from the European Community Household Panel," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(4), pages 763-781.
  8. Lynn, Peter & Kaminska, Olena & Goldstein, Harvey, 2011. "Panel attrition: how important is it to keep the same interviewer?," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  9. David T. Burkam & Valerie E. Lee, 1998. "Effects of Monotone and Nonmonotone Attrition on Parameter Estimates in Regression Models with Educational Data: Demographic Effects on Achievement, Aspirations, and Attitudes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 555-574.
  10. Sean Becketti & William Gould & Lee Lillard & Finis Welch, 1985. "The Panel Study of Income Dynamics After Fourteen Years: An Evaluation," UCLA Economics Working Papers 361, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Frick, Joachim R. & Jenkings, Stephen P. & Lillard, Dean R. & Lipps, Oliver & Wooden, Mark, 2007. "The Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) and Its Member Country Household Panel Studies," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 627-654.
  12. Nicoletti, Cheti & Buck, Nick, 2004. "Explaining interviewee contact and co-operation in the British and German Household Panels," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  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. 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.
  15. Laurie, Heather & Lynn, Peter, 2008. "The use of respondent incentives on longitudinal surveys," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-42, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  16. 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.
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