Maintaining cross-sectional representativeness in a longitudinal general population survey

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Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Peter Lynn

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This paper describes the problem of maintaining cross-sectional
representativeness in a longitudinal survey of a changing population. The
extent and nature of the problem is outlined and potential solutions are
described. The procedures adopted on Understanding
Society are described. The main
challenges are to correctly identify members of the initial sample who leave
the population – through death or emigration – and to periodically add
appropriate samples of people who join the population – through birth or
immigration. The samples to be added should have known selection probabilities
and should strike an appropriate balance between precision of estimation and
cost-efficiency of fieldwork.

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