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Conversion of Non-Respondents in an Ongoing Panel Survey: The Case of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)

  • Jörg-Peter Schräpler
  • Jürgen Schupp
  • Gert G. Wagner

The results of a resurvey of non-respondents to the SOEP study carried out in 2006 show that this special effort of reinterviewing was relatively ineffective in two respects. First, the rate of successful conversions of passive to active respondents was low (less than 20 percent). Second, the composition of the longitudinal file did not improve. The same groups that showed high dropout rates in the SOEP (particularly low-income respondents and respondents in major cities) showed lower conversion rates in the resurvey. The resulting file of active respondents after the resurvey is therefore even more selective than the original file with regard to population means. Furthermore, due to the low rate of resurveying, the resurvey did not significantly improve the overall statistical power of the SOEP sample. In sum, the resurvey was an interesting experiment, but it shows little potential as a means for improving the standard fieldwork of SOEP.

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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 626.

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Length: 37 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp626
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  1. Christian Seiler, 2010. "Dynamic Modelling of Nonresponse in Business Surveys," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper Nr. 93, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  2. 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.
  3. Ludwig Fahrmeir & Stefan Lang, 2001. "Bayesian inference for generalized additive mixed models based on Markov random field priors," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 50(2), pages 201-220.
  4. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  5. Jörg-Peter Schräpler, 2006. "Explaining Income Nonresponse – A Case Study by means of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS)," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 1013-1036, December.
  6. Frick, Joachim R. & Goebel, Jan & Schechtman, Edna & Wagner, Gert G. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2004. "Using Analysis of Gini (ANoGi) for Detecting Whether Two Sub-Samples Represent the Same Universe: The SOEP Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 1049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Koen Beullens & Jaak Billiet & Geert Loosveldt, 2010. "The effect of the elapsed time between the initial refusal and conversion contact on conversion success: evidence from the 2nd round of the European social survey," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 44(6), pages 1053-1065, October.
  8. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
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