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Activity Number: 583
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Survey Research Methods
Abstract - #306724
Title: Using Imputation to Adjust for Seam Bias in a Rotating Panel Survey
Author(s): Joe Sakshaug*+ and Joerg Drechsler
Companies: German Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and German Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
Address: , Nuremberg, , Germany
Keywords: seam effects ; imputation ; rotating panel survey ; measurement error ; recall bias

In longitudinal surveys, a seam effect occurs when the number of changes reported between two adjacent interviews is far greater than the number of changes reported within the same interview. The majority of studies pertaining to seam effects focus on its causes and design features aimed at reducing its effects. Adjusting for seam effects post-data collection is an area that has received less attention (Miller, Lepkowski, and Kalton, 1992). We empirically examine an imputation method that attempts to adjust for seam bias under a rotating panel design. Specifically, we use data from the Survey of Income Program and Participation (SIPP), a widely-cited data source for the study of seam effects, to demonstrate the method. We evaluate the method by comparing the effects of seam bias before and after imputation for estimates of change in Food Stamp program participation.

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