Using Paradata to Understand Panel Effects in the Current Population Survey

John S. Dixon


This study examines reluctance to respond to the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is administered to a household for four consecutive months, followed by a break of eight months, and then administered for another four consecutive months. These eight interviews (panels) form the basis of this analysis. The respondents concerns and contact issues during the first panel were summarized using a factor analysis (Dixon, 2010). This study examines and compares the factor structure of the later panels to the first. This study also examines paradata, including respondent contact history recorded by interviewers to help better understand the survey experience and willingness to respond. This study found a similar pattern of concerns as previous studies for the first panel; however, the following panels exhibited different patterns than the first.