Migration in Retrospect: Remembrances of Things Past

by James P. Smith, Duncan Thomas

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Given the growing importance of retrospective surveys, researchers need to not only be sensitive to the quality of the underlying data but are likely to benefit from investments in better understanding the extent and nature of biases inherent in these sources. This paper is the product of such an investment. Focusing on residential location and migration, we undertake a detailed evalutation of retrospective life histories contained in a pair of household surveys. The matched migration histories cover the same period of the respondent's life and were reported independently by the respondent in the First and Second Malaysian Family Life Surveys (MFLS1 and MFLS2), which were conducted 12 years apart.

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