Solving the problem of attrition in longitudinal surveys

About the project

This project ran from October 2007 to December 2010.

CLS was one of the partners in a project on "Solving the problem of attrition in longitudinal surveys" which was part of the ESRC's Survey Design and Measurement Initiative.

Attrition is the problem of cohort members preferring no longer to be interviewed, and dropping out, or moving and being unable to be traced.  It can lead to biased results if those who drop out share common characteristics (e.g. low income, low basic skills).

The research is looking at how to reduce attrition through improved survey practice, and the information needs for optimum adjustment of results to take account of it.

Principal Investigator:

John Bynner

Other IOE participating researchers:




Bynner, J. (2011) Solving the problem of attrition in longitudinal surveys: End of award report to the Economic and Social Research Council.

Bynner, J., Lessof, C. and Nicolaas, G. (2012) Reducing the loss of respondents from longitudinal surveys. Workshop report (21 February 2012).

Ketende, S., McDonald, J. and Dex, S. (2010) Non-response in the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) from birth to 34 years, CLS Working Paper 2010/4.