HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview Files and Finder File

RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview Files

The Center has produced versions of the RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview data files that merge all the raw variables from each respondent-level questionnaire section to create a single respondent-level dataset for each wave.

The structure of the RAND HRS Exit and Post-Exit Interview variable names is very similar. For example, the variable that contains the net value of the estate in the 2014 Exit Interview is called YT173, and the same question in the 2014 Post-Exit Interview is called YPT173. Where appropriate, we have removed the second letter "P" from the Post-Exit variable names so that we can append the Post-Exit Interview data to the Exit Interview data. For example, in 2014 data, we have removed the "P" from the variable YPT173 in the Post-Exit interview so that it has become YT173. Post-Exit Interview responses can be identified by the flag POST_EXIT=1. Exit Interview responses can be identified by POST_EXIT=0. The RAND HRS Exit and Post-Exit Interview Files include all Respondents from both the Exit and Post-Exit Interviews. However, the same person never has both an Exit Interview and Post-Exit Interview in the same year, so the file does not contain multiple occurrences of the same person.

We have also added numeric versions of household and person identifiers, such as HHIDPN, to facilitate matching across years and merging with other RAND HRS data products. There is a single Exit File for each year of HRS starting in 1994 which contains all of the "raw" or original variables, merged to the respondent level.

RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Finder File

Researchers would most likely want to combine the information from Exit and Post-Exit Interview and link them up with Respondents' Core Interviews. We have created the RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Finder File to make it easy to identify which survey years the Exit and Post-Exit Interviews occurred.

We derive Exit and Post-Exit variables from the Tracker file variable xIWTYPE (Interview Type), where x=Survey Year letter. The EXIT1 variable contains the year the Exit Interview was conducted. The variables POSTEXIT1-POSTEXIT3 contain the years Post-Exit interviews were conducted. If you merge all the Respondents in, say 1992, with the RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Finder file, by HHIDPN, and they are missing values in, say EXIT1, this means that these Respondents do not have an Exit interview.

Once you have identified the years of Exit and Post-Exit Interviews using the RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Finder file, you can easily merge individual Exit/Post-Exit Fat Files together using HHIDPN.

Data Access

  • You must first register with HRS, if you haven't already. Registration is free. You will receive a password from HRS within 24 hours, usually much sooner. When you receive your password, you can return here to continue.
  • If you've already registered, login to the HRS Public File Download System.
  • Once you have logged in, follow the "Datasets and Files" link, and then the "RAND HRS Exit/Post-Exit Interview and Finder Files" link under "RAND Contributed Files".

Available files include 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 final release data. These can easily be used with the current release of the RAND HRS. For more detailed information, please see the following documents:

Documentation for Exit/Post-Exit Interview and Finder Files Help Using Data Products FAQ

These documents provide information on what has been added to raw HRS data in these files, but they are not codebooks or questionnaires. Codebooks and questionnaires may be found on the HRS website. We urge you to regularly visit the HRS website, which provides a wealth of information about the data, including questionnaires, codebooks, background on study design, and data alerts.

For more information, questions or comments please see our FAQ or email us at

Before doing so, however, we kindly request that users first consult the documentation that accompanies our data products, as we have found that our responses often point users to specific sections of the documentation that provide further detail on the variables mentioned in the users’ queries.

In addition, we recommend that users become familiar with some of the information provided on the HRS website, such as the HRS questionnaires and codebooks for the key variables under study.

We have also found the concordance tool extremely useful to help find available variables across waves: