Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.27, No.2, 2011. pp. 301318

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Attrition in the Swiss Household Panel: Is Change Associated with Drop-out?

This study examines the importance of change in characteristics and circumstances of households and household members for contact and cooperation patterns. The literature suggests that there might be an underrepresentation of change in panel studies, because respondents facing more changes would be more likely to drop out. We approach this problem by analysing whether previous changes are predictive of later attrition or temporary drop-out, using eleven waves of the Swiss Household Panel (1999–2009). Our analyses support previous findings to some extent. Changes in household composition, employment status and social involvement as well as moving are associated mainly with attrition and less with temporary drop-out. These changes affect obtaining cooperation rather than obtaining contact, and tend to increase attrition.

Panel studies, nonresponse, response patterns, respondent characteristics

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