Conference Paper Royal Statistical Society (Social Statistics Section) Seminar
Innovation in Longitudinal Survey Methods
20 Jan 2009
Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study begins data collection in January 2009 (www.understandingsociety.org.uk). With a target sample size of 40,000 households and a large boost of ethnic minority households this survey represents the largest single investment in academic social research resources ever launched in the UK. An exciting element is the inclusion of an “innovation panel” of around 1500 households, the purpose of which is to develop and test various aspects of the survey methodology. The first wave of data collection with the innovation panel took place in early 2008 and included a number of experiments. Several were concerned with comparing alternative ways of asking questions. These covered expenditure data, 7- vs 11-point scales, satisfaction questions, unearned income and fertility and partnership histories. Other issues examined included respondent incentives, consent questions, respondent reactions to the interview and the potential for mixed mode approaches at future waves. The presentation will summarise the findings from wave 1 and will also outline the experimentation that is taking place on wave 2 in early 2009.