High-frequency Internet Survey of a Probability Sample of Older Singaporeans

The Singapore Life Panel®

Published in: The Singapore Economic Review (2018)

Posted on RAND.org on September 20, 2019

by Rhema Vaithianathan, Bryce Hool, Michael D. Hurd, Susann Rohwedder

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Facing a rapidly ageing population, Singapore is presented with urgent policy challenges. Yet there is very little data on the economic, health and family circumstances of older Singaporeans. In response, the Centre for Research on the Economics of Ageing (CREA) at Singapore Management University has been collecting monthly data on a panel of Singaporeans aged between 50 and 70 years. We detail the methodology by which the Singapore Life Panel® (SLP) was constructed using a population-representative sampling frame from the Singapore Department of Statistics. Contact was made with 25,000 households through postal, phone and in-person canvassing. More than 15,200 respondents from over 11,500 households enrolled in the panel. Comparisons between SLP and official statistics show close matching on age, sex, marital status, ethnicity, education, labor force status, income and expenditure. This suggests that the panel is a representative of Singapore's elderly population. Monthly surveys continue to be administered over the internet, supplemented by phone and in-person outreach to ensure the panel remains representative and hence reliable for informing policy makers. Response rates are remarkably stable at over 8000 per month. The SLP contains rich data on demographics, health status, socio-economic indicators, contact with government programmes and subjective perceptions and is likely to be a key resource for economic research into ageing in Singapore.

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