ESRA 2019 Draft Programme at a Glance

New developments in the use of adaptive survey designs in longitudinal studies

Session Organisers Ms Nicole Watson (University of Melbourne)
Dr Alexandru Cernat (University of Manchester)
TimeTuesday 16th July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room D24

As the costs of survey data collection and non-response increase, survey methodologists are searching for innovative approaches to make data collection more efficient. One of the most promising approaches that have received considerable attention recently is the use of adaptive survey designs. These imply the change of data collection procedures during fieldwork in order to target particular groups that might be underrepresented or harder to interview. While this approach is increasingly popular in cross-sectional studies their use in longitudinal studies has received less attention.

In this session we aim to bring together talks that investigate the uses of adaptive survey designs in longitudinal studies. We especially encourage papers that discuss some of the special characteristics of longitudinal studies such as:
- The use of prior wave information, current wave information and administrative data in order to target respondents
- Trade-offs between retaining and changing data collection procedures for the same units
- Impact of adaptive survey designs on attrition patterns
- Impact of adaptive survey designs on measurement error (e.g., due to changes in mode, interviewer, etc.)
- Long run effects of the implementation of adaptive survey designs
- Metrics used to measure the comparative performance of adaptive survey designs options
- Costs implications of using adaptive survey designs in longitudinal studies

Keywords: longitudinal data, adaptive survey design, non-response error, measurement error

Using the relationship between income item nonresponse and panel attrition for adaptive fieldwork measures in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

Dr Annette Scherpenzeel (Chair for the Economics of Aging, Technical University of Munich) - Presenting Author
Dr Arne Bethmann (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social Policy)
Dr Michael Bergmann (Chair for the Economics of Aging, Technical University of Munich)
Mrs Sabine Friedel ( Chair for the Economics of Aging, Technical University of Munich)

Prior research with the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) data has shown that survey respondents who gave no answer to the income questions have a significantly lower probability of participating in the next wave than any other groups. This hence seems to be a group for which adaptive fieldwork measures to prevent panel drop-out are especially valuable. Since such measures should address the common cause of the income nonresponse in one wave and unit nonresponse in the next wave, we tried to reveal that cause in the present study.
Analyzing the observed relationship with available SHARE panel survey data showed who these respondents are and how they behave in our survey. However, it did not clearly reveal the reasons for not answering the income questions. We therefore conducted in-depth interviews with a small selection of respondents with income nonresponse in order to better understand what the respondents were thinking when not answering the income question and better understand the consideration to (not) continue to participate in further waves. Prior to the in-depth interviews, we had the following hypotheses about the common cause for income item nonresponse and panel drop-out: 1) a general reluctance or lack of motivation for surveys and survey questions; 2) Strong privacy concerns; 3) Don't know the answer due to deteriorating health or cognitive abilities. The results of the in-depth interviews elaborated these hypotheses but also indicated some reasons we had not thought of yet. In the next step, the results were used to design a structured questionnaire for a larger quantitative study.
We will present which panel respondents show the response pattern from income item nonresponse to panel drop-out, the results of the in-depth interviews, and the design and pretest of the structured questionnaires.

Simulating the Consequences of Adaptive Survey Design in Two Household Panel Studies

Ms Nicole Watson (University of Melbourne)
Mr Mark O'Shea (University of Melbourne) - Presenting Author
Dr Alexandru Cernat (University of Manchester)

In recent years, the field of adaptive survey design has emerged as an important addition to the survey design literature. Much of the research that has been undertaken focuses on repeated cross-sectional surveys, yet it seems there is greater potential for adaptive survey design within longitudinal surveys as data on the respondent and their survey experience builds with each wave. Whilst there has been some research into adaptive survey design approaches in longitudinal surveys, we add to this literature by considering longer-term impacts of modifications to fieldwork processes in the context of two household panels. We use waves 11 to 16 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and waves 1 to 6 of UK Household Longitudinal Study (also known as Understanding Society) to simulate alternative follow-up strategies which target cases based on a number of indicators. We focus on the extent to which these adjustments to fieldwork efforts impact on the response rates, sample representativeness, and sample size. We also examine the long-run implications of these adaptive survey design strategies and assess whether the impact of reducing fieldwork effort can be mitigated by weighting.