dependent interviewing in the u s census bureau s survey of income and program participation sipp n.
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Dependent Interviewing in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Joanne Pascale and Nancy Bates DI Seminar, University of Essex September 17, 2004. SIPP Overview. Multi-panel survey begun in 1983 4 month reference period; 9-12 waves per panel

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dependent interviewing in the u s census bureau s survey of income and program participation sipp

Dependent Interviewing in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

Joanne Pascale and Nancy Bates

DI Seminar, University of Essex

September 17, 2004

sipp overview
SIPP Overview
  • Multi-panel survey begun in 1983
  • 4 month reference period; 9-12 waves per panel
  • Measures dynamics of economic well-being among U.S. households
  • Core topics each wave: demographics, work, government assistance, assets, health insurance
  • Topical modules vary by wave
  • Complex CAPI instrument
  • 2004 Panel Wave 1: Sample size: 62,000; Response rate: 85.1%
sipp methods panel
SIPP Methods Panel
  • 4-year comprehensive research vehicle separate from but parallel to production SIPP survey
  • General goal: reduce burden, improve response
  • Dependent interviewing objectives:
    • Improve interview process, flow
    • Reduce attrition
    • Reduce item nonresponse
    • Reduce “seam” bias
methods panel design
Methods Panel Design
  • Expert review, analysis of existing SIPP data
  • Literature review
  • Qualitative research (cognitive testing, debriefing)
  • 3 split-ballot field tests over 3 years
  • 1st test = Wave 1; 2nd, 3rd tests = Waves 1 and 2
  • 2 treatments: control and test
  • Interviewers administered both treatments
  • Interviewer surveys, assessments
  • ~1,000 households per treatment
  • Response rate = ~86%
dependent interviewing research
Dependent Interviewing Research
  • Paucity of evidence in literature
  • Research steps:
    • Commissioned formal literature review (Mathiowetz & McGonagle, 2000)
    • Conducted qualitative research (Pascale & Mayer, 2003)
    • Developed dependent interview methods for MPSIPP 2001 and 2002 quantitative field tests
types of income data in sipp
Types of Income Data in SIPP
  • Sources of income
    • Jobs & businesses
    • Unearned income, e.g.:
      • Government assistance (e.g.: food stamps, welfare)
      • Government entitlements (e.g.: social security)
      • Other (e.g.: child support, alimony)
    • Ownership of income-producing assets, e.g.:
      • Stocks & bonds
      • Savings accounts
      • Interest-earning checking accounts
  • Amount of income received from each source
dependent interviewing di techniques
Dependent Interviewing (DI) Techniques
  • Proactive:

Remind and ask:

‘Last time you said you received X. Do you still receive X?”

  • Reactive:

Ask ‘from scratch,’ offer data from prior wave if nonresponse, or to detect/resolve discrepancies

control di techniques
Control DI Techniques

Remind & Re-ask W1 Q:

  • If reported X in W1:

‘Last time I recorded that you received/owned X. Did you receive/own X at any time between [Month 1] and today?’

  • If not reported in W1: simply re-ask W1 Q

Used for unearned income and asset sources

control di techniques1
Control DI Techniques

Burden reduction

If R reported a job/biz in W1 ask if anything about R’s duties has changed.

If no, skip detailed questions about R’s duties and characteristics of the job/biz.

control di techniques2
Control DI Techniques

None

  • Unearned income amounts (except 2 items)
  • Asset amounts
  • Job earnings
  • School enrollment
  • Health insurance
control vs test
Control vs. Test
  • DI used only for sources in control; used for both sources and amounts in test
  • For sources
    • Control uses DI if ownership/receipt was reported at any time during Wave 1
    • Test only uses DI if ownership/receipt was reported in Month4/5 of Wave 1
  • Month 5: Control does not collect ‘Month 5’ data in Wave 1; Test does
test di techniques
Test DI Techniques

Remind & ask ‘still?’:

‘Last time I recorded you received X. Do you still receive X?’

Used for asset sources, health insurance

test di techniques1
Test DI Techniques

If source reported in M4 but not M5 of W1:

Remind & ask ‘continue?’:

‘Last time I recorded you received X. Did you continue to receive X after M1 1st [of W2]?’

  • If yes, ask which months received
  • If no, probe to verify receipt really ended in M4 of W1:
    • “I’m sorry to bother you about this, but it’s important for me to get the dates just right. Are you sure X didn’t continue into [M1 of W2]?”
test di techniques2
Test DI Techniques

If source reported in M5:

Remind & ask ‘correct?’:

‘Last time I recorded you received X. Is that correct?’

  • if yes: ‘What months received in W2?’
  • if no: ‘Did you receive X since [M2 of W2] 1st?’
    • If yes: ‘What months received in W2?’
    • If no: Probe to verify receipt really ended in M4 of W1
test di techniques3
Test DI Techniques

Ask W1 Q ‘from scratch’

If D/R:

  • Bring back amount provided in W1 and ask “still sound about right?”

Used for unearned income, asset, job earnings amounts

test di techniques4
Test DI Techniques

Ask W1 Q ‘from scratch’

If ‘Whatever I said last time’:

  • Bring back amount provided in W1 and ask ‘still sound about right?’

Used for unearned income, asset, job earnings amounts

test di techniques5
Test DI Techniques

Corrective (mainly to catch keying errors)

  • If reported in W1 re-ask W1 Q ‘from scratch’:
    • If new amount varies by +/-10% from W1 (unearned income amounts) or
    • If new amount varies by 10 fold from W1 (assets amounts)

==> probe with interviewer note to confirm change

next steps
Next Steps
  • Examine 2004 production data and compare to test results
  • Assess feasibility of dependent interviewing under new windows system (vs. current DOS)