Impact of mixed modes on measurement errors and estimates of change in panel data

  • Alexandru Cernat Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Keywords: mixed modes, measurement model, latent growth models, panel data


Mixed mode designs are receiving increased interest as a possible solution for saving costs in panel surveys, although the lasting effects on data quality are unknown. To better understand the effects of mixed mode designs on panel data we will examine its impact on random and systematic error and on estimates of change. The SF12, a health scale, in the Understanding Society Innovation Panel is used for the analysis. Results indicate that only one variable out of 12 has systematic differences due to the mixed mode design. Also, four of the 12 items overestimate variance of change in time in the mixed mode design. We conclude that using a mixed mode approach leads to minor measurement differences but it can result in the overestimation of individual change compared to a single mode design.