Assessing and Enhancing the Quality of Longitudinal Survey Data

Completed Project

Project Management

Mark Wooden

Project Period

January 1, 2009 - January 1, 2013

Commissioned by

Australian Research Council (ARC)
Australia has begun investing heavily in the collection of population‑wide longitudinal survey data. Most of that effort has focused first on collection and dissemination and second on analysis, with scant attention paid to the quality of data collected. This is unfortunate given that longitudinal surveys exhibit many problems (e.g., attrition, panel conditioning, and seam effects) that are not relevant in more ubiquitous cross‑section of surveys. Without adequate resources devoted to these methodological issues, the quality of substantive research will be questioned and interest from potential users decline. Maximizing the investment being made in longitudinal data thus requires a complementary investment in methodological research.

DIW Team