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Attrition Bias in Panel Data: A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing? A Case Study Based on the MABEL Survey


  • Cheng, T. C.
  • Trivedi, P. K.


This paper investigates the nature and consequences of sample attrition in a unique longitudinal survey of medical doctors. We describe the patterns of non-response and examine if attrition affects the econometric analysis of medical labour market outcomes using the estimation of physician earnings equations as a case study. Descriptive evidence show that doctors who work longer hours, have lower years of experience, are overseas trained, and have changed their work location are more likely to drop out. Estimates from a number of different econometric models indicate that attrition does not have a significant impact on the estimation of physician earnings. We discuss how the top-up samples in MABEL survey can be used to address the problem of panel attrition.

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  • Cheng, T. C. & Trivedi, P. K., 2014. "Attrition Bias in Panel Data: A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing? A Case Study Based on the MABEL Survey," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:14/04

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Jose Echavarria & Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas, 2016. "Great expectations? evidence from Colombia’s exchange rate survey," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 25(1), pages 1-27, December.
    2. repec:bla:jorssa:v:180:y:2017:i:2:p:503-530 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Heng Chen & Marie-Hélène Felt & Kim Huynh, 2014. "Retail Payment Innovations and Cash Usage: Accounting for Attrition Using Refreshment Samples," Staff Working Papers 14-27, Bank of Canada.
    4. Michel Dumont, 2015. "Working Paper 05-15 - Evaluation of federal tax incentives for private R&D in Belgium: An update," Working Papers 1505, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    5. Martina Celidoni & Vincenzo Rebba, 2015. "Healthier lifestyles after retirement in Europe? Evidence from SHARE," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0201, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item


    Attrition; MABEL longitudinal survey; Medical doctors; Earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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