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Frey's Scenario F simulation mentioned in account of the Democratic Party's tribulations

U-M Poverty Solutions funds nine projects

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Workshops on EndNote, NIH reporting, and publication altmetrics, Jan 26 through Feb 7, ISR

2017 PAA Annual Meeting, April 27-29, Chicago

NIH funding opportunity: Etiology of Health Disparities and Health Advantages among Immigrant Populations (R01 and R21), open Jan 2017

Russell Sage 2017 Summer Institute in Computational Social Science, June 18-July 1. Application deadline Feb 17.

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Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at noon:
Decline of cash assistance and child well-being, Luke Shaefer

Straightening the Seam Effect in Panel Surveys

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Rips, L.J., Frederick G. Conrad, and S.S. Fricker. 2003. "Straightening the Seam Effect in Panel Surveys." Public Opinion Quarterly, 67:522-554.

Panel surveys, such as the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Consumer Expenditure Survey, interview respondents every 3 or 4 months, but ask the respondents for monthly data. A typical finding in such surveys is that changes in responses to a question are relatively small for adjacent months within a reference period but much more abrupt for adjacent months across reference periods. Previous studies have attributed this "seam effect" either to underreporting of changes within the periods or to overreporting of changes across them. In the present studies, we attempt to distinguish these possibilities, using an experimental method that allows us to gauge respondents' accuracy as well as the number of times they change their answers. The studies produced seam effects and accompanying evidence for forgetting of queried information and bias toward constant responses within the reference period. In general, seam effects appear to increase as a function of the demands on memory. We also find that separating questions with the same content in the survey instrument decreases the seam effect. To account for these data, we propose a model in which respondents' answers are initially based on attempted memory retrieval. Inability to recall leads to (possibly biased) guessing or subsequent repetition of an earlier answer.

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