Attrition in the Swiss Household Panel

Oliver Lipps


In this paper, we analyze magnitude and possible selectivity of attrition in first wave respondents in the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), from wave two (2000) through wave seven (2005). After comparing attrition of first wave respondents with that of other panel surveys, we proceed to model selectivity of attrition in two steps: we first build separate wave-to-wave models, and second a longitudinal all-wave model. The latter model includes wave interaction effects. The first models allow for tracing of selectivity development, i.e. whether an initial selectivity might compensate or cumulates over time, the second to assessing the effects of the covariates in a specific wave, controlling for the base attrition effect. In particular it allows for the analysis of consequences due to discrete fieldwork events.

Our results support the findings in the literature: attritors are in general the younger people and the males, foreigners, the socially and politically “excluded”, i.e. those who show little social and political interest and participation, those who are mostly dissatisfied with various aspects in their life, and those who live in households with high unit nonresponse, and who exhibit a worse reporting behavior. This pattern is rather cumulative than compensating over panel waves. Excessive attrition in two waves presumably caused by two discrete events in the panel is not particularly selective. Still existing variation in selective attrition is worth to be further explored.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Oliver Lipps

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