Accession Number : ADA118031

Title :   Why Collect Retrospective Data?

Corporate Author : RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s) : Butz,William P

PDF Url : ADA118031

Report Date : Dec 1981

Pagination or Media Count : 14

Abstract : Almost all survey data are recall data: 'What foods did your family eat yesterday?' 'What were your expenditures last week? 'What was your income in the last four months?' 'How many pregnancies did you have in the last three years?' Retrospective data can be defined, only a little facetiously, as recall data with a reference period that is too long. For example, 'What foods did your family eat a month ago?' 'What were your expenditures six months ago?' 'What was your income five years ago?' How many pregnancies have you had since age 15? Most people, including professional surveyors, would say that respondents cannot give accurate answers to these letter questions, and that the inaccuracies increase the farther back in time the questions try to reach. Nevertheless, some researchers do gather 'retrospective' data, most notably in the fertility area but in others as well. Why do they bother? What would one do with retrospective data? The simplest answer to these questions is the answer to the separate question: What would one do with panel data? The answers are similar, because the form of the data is in both cases nearly identical.

Descriptors :   *Data acquisition, Surveys, Interviewing, Recall, Sociology, Central America, Reliability

Subject Categories : Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE