Survey nonresponse and attrition undermine the validity of many and possibly most econometric estimates. We propose that survey administrators and evaluators proactively create an instrument for observation, for example, by ex ante randomizing participants to differing intensity of follow-up. We illustrate how to apply our proposed methodology using a carefully conducted randomized controlled trial, the Moving to Opportunity demonstration project, which de facto randomly assigned a subset of subjects to more intensive follow-up. The approach yields treatment effect estimates similar to the unbiased estimator based on complete administrative data and has narrower confidence intervals than alternative bounding approaches.
Labor Economics | Law | Law and Economics
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John DiNardo, Jordan Matsudaira, Justin McCrary & Lisa Sanbonmatsu,
A Practical Proactive Proposal for Dealing with Attrition: Alternative Approaches and an Empirical Example,
J. Labor Econ.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3691