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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Panel Attrition: Separating Stayers, Sleepers and Other Types of Drop-Out in an Internet Panel
Year 2013
Access date 31.05.2013

Attrition is the process of respondents dropping out in a panel study. Errors resulting from attrition decrease statistical power and can potentially bias estimates derived from survey data. As panels are increasingly being used in the social sciences as a source of empirical data, a good understanding of the determinants and consequences of attrition is important for all social scientists who make use of panel study data. In many panel surveys, the process of attrition is more subtle than being either in or out of the study. Respondents often miss out on one or more waves, but might return after that. They start off responding infrequently, but participate more often later in the course of the study. Using current models, it is difficult to incorporate such nonmonothone attrition patterns in analyses of attrition. Non-monothone attrition is common in long running panels, or panels that collect data frequently. In order to separate different groups of respondents that each follow a distinct process of attrition, a Latent Class model is used. This allows the separation of different groups of respondents, that each follow a different and distinct process of attrition. Using background characteristics for a panel survey of 8000 respondents who were recruited using a probability-based method into the Web-based LISS panel, I show that respondents who loyally participate in every wave (stayers) are for example older and more conscientious than attriters, while infrequent (lurkers) respondents are younger and less educated. We can link these characteristics to attrition theories, and show that our findings can be related to theories on panel participation and reasons for dropout. I conclude by showing how each class contributes to attrition bias on voting behavior, and discuss ways to use attrition models to improve the panel survey process

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations