Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.7, No.2, 1991. pp. 235–245
The Seam Effect with Social Security Income in the Survey of Income and Program Participation
Graham Kalton and Michael E. Miller
Abstract:The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a panel survey with an interval of four months between waves of data collection, and with information on many income sources being collected on a monthly basis. A common finding has been that more month-to-month changes in recipiency from most income sources, and the amounts received if any, have occurred when the data are collected in different waves than when they are collected in the same wave. This finding has been termed the seam effect. This paper examines the seam effect in relation to the monthly amounts of Social Security payments received in the first twelve months of the 1984 SIPP panel. The analyses take advantage of a known 3.5% increase in Social Security payments that occurred in January 1984 to compare the characteristics of recipients who reported an increase that month with those of recipients who failed to do so.
Keywords:panel survey; measurement error.
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