Matched retrospective life history data collected from the same individuals in two waves of the Malaysian Family Life Survey provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the quality of long-term recall data in a rapidly changing developing country. Recall quality, measured by consistency of incidence and dating of moves reported 12 years apart, is higher among the better educated. Respondents better remember more salient moves, those linked with other important life events such as marriage, childbirth or a job change and moves that lasted a long time. Migrations that dim in memory as time passes are typically shorter duration or local moves, often made while the respondent was young. The dating of moves also significantly improved when linked with other salient events. The authors findings suggest concrete and practical steps that can be followed to improve the quality of retrospective life-histories collected in field surveys.
Originally published in: Journal of Royal Statistical Society, v. 166, no. 1, 2003, pp. 23-49.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.