Effects of Attrition and Non-Response in the Health and Retirement Study

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2246

RANSD Working Paper No. WR-407

43 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2006

See all articles by Arie Kapteyn

Arie Kapteyn

Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research - University of Southern California; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Pierre-Carl Michaud

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arthur van Soest

Tilburg University; Netspar; RAND Corporation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: August 2006

Abstract

We study the effect of attrition and other forms of non-response on the representativity over time of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) sample born 1931-1941; the sample was initially drawn in 1992. Although some baseline characteristics of respondents do appear correlated with non-response over time, the 2002 sample of respondents does not appear to suffer significantly from selection on observables, except for race and ethnicity; for these two observables, longitudinal weights based on the Current Population Survey (CPS) can be used and are provided with the data set. We attribute this lack of selection to the fact that attritors who differ most eventually come back to the survey in waves prior to 2002. Although this allows cross-sections to remain fairly representative in later waves, it suggests that longitudinal analysis should use the unbalanced sample rather than the balanced sample of those interviewed in all waves. Individuals who attrit but who are recruited back into the survey are very different from those who are permanent attritors to the HRS. Finally, we investigate the selective nature of the decision of respondents to grant HRS permission to access their Social Security records and of the non-response introduced by employers of pension policyholders not providing HRS with worker's Summary Plan Descriptions. We find that subsamples for which such information is available are selective on a number of dimensions, such as education and other socioeconomic status (SES) outcomes.

Keywords: attrition, non-response, administrative records, economics of aging

JEL Classification: C42, C80, I10, J26

Suggested Citation

Kapteyn, Arie and Michaud, Pierre-Carl and Smith, James P. and van Soest, Arthur H. O., Effects of Attrition and Non-Response in the Health and Retirement Study (August 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2246; RANSD Working Paper No. WR-407. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=928369

Arie Kapteyn

Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research - University of Southern California ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States
310-448-5383 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Pierre-Carl Michaud (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arthur H. O. van Soest

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Netspar

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
174
Abstract Views
1,158
rank
173,900
PlumX Metrics