The paper discusses the extent to which longitudinal surveys are able to expose occupational mobility and the dynamics of these processes. It compares two survey designs: the repeated panel design and the retrospective life history design. This comparison details the strength and the weaknesses of the two designs. The paper particularly calls attention to the unique features of the two designs with respect to the exploration of occupational mobility – pointing to three general problems of quantitative social research: item-nonresponse, design effects of single and multi-measurement occasion, and the strong assumption that researchers and respondents share the same definition of concepts. The main conclusion of the paper is that both designs offer unique opportunities to study social change, yet the differences between the two should be kept in mind when choosing the data set for particular research questions.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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