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Participation Effects in Panel Surveys: Evidence from a Seven-Wave Randomized Experiment

Conference contribution
Authors Sebastian Lundmark
Mikael Gilljam
Published in American Association for Public Opinion Research 68:th Annual Conference
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Political Science
Language en
Keywords Panel bias, Panel conditioning, Attitudes
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


Comparing panel samples and refreshment samples, previous studies have found significant participation effects on people’s knowledge. Participation in previous panel waves tends to produce more knowledgeable respondents but only minor effects have been found when studying people’s beliefs, attitudes and voting intentions (Das, Toepel, and Soest 2011). However, most of these studies have used only two panel waves, and none of them have used a randomized experiment design. This study rectifies these shortcomings by using a seven-wave panel together with a randomized experiment design. With this more ambitious approach, we are able to study panel participation effects on political attitude questions, with a relatively large number of waves, and with randomized gaps. More specifically, the design consists of one group of respondents receiving a set of panel questions in seven waves, and one group receiving the same set of panel questions in five of the seven waves (i.e. two gaps). Results show that, in line with previous research, no panel participation effects exist − either in the form of panel conditioning or panel fatigue effects.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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