Reaching the unreachables: A panel survey among unemployed young adults in Austria and recommendations on how to decrease nonresponse and attrition

Monika Mühlböck, Nadia Steiber, Bernhard Kittel


Survey response rates are especially low among young people, those with low levels of formal education and those who are not well integrated into society. These effects are amplified in panel studies, where similar factors influence the propensity of continued participation in survey waves. As a result, conducting a panel study on young, unemployed people is particularly challenging. The paper describes the difficulties associated with selection effects and panel mortality in this particular group and the remedies applied in the JuSAW project, where we conducted a panel survey among young adults aged 18-28 who became unemployed between May and September 2014. Based on our experiences and a detailed analysis of sample balance and panel stability, we develop recommendations for future studies.


panel survey, difficult target groups, nonresponse, attrition


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