There are some very exciting things and some very worrying things about this proposal. First, to start with the exciting aspects, the use of panel data by students and researchers in their projects is already taking off at rapid speed now that a number of longitudinal panel surveys are available online. I have met countless academics who have told me recently that they commonly direct their students to panel studies such as the BHPS instead of asking them to design and collect survey data of their own. So we should be confident of their being a good market for a practical guide to using panel data in research. Secondly, Essex University is the THE centre for panel survey expertise in Europe and so the fact that these two authors are part of such a highly-respected team will help sales of the book. But, as flagged above, there is a big ‘BUT’ to this proposal, and that is the authors' dogged determination to support this book with Stata software, rather than with, ideally, SPSS or R. Stata is not widely used in the UK in the social sciences and I fear there could be an impact on sales if stata is too prominent. The authors have agreed to include an appendix on R and will have some coverage of how to use SPSS in analysing panel data on a modest website. Other changes to the chapter structure make the book more accessible and practical, and the agreement to include a range of international panel studies in the guide will help overseas sales. But there is no getting around the fact that the stata dimension is far from helpful. As a consequence I have sought to control costs and I would suggest Indian printing and a very modest royalty offer. It is also I think a Mod in it's market potential, but will have a sales pattern more characteristic of a supp. I want a Guide to Panel Data to support the list, and Essex is the ideal department to supply authors for such a text, but this is not quite the ideal book.

Working with Multiple Datasets

Aim

In this chapter we discuss how to link household- and individual-level data and how to aggregate individual-level data to obtain household-level variables. We also discuss how to create a wide-format file; this complements the section on data set-up for longitudinal analysis in Chapter 4. We then discuss how these data matching techniques can be used to combine survey data with external data such as census data.

Introduction

The majority of the models we estimate in social science research deals with explaining individual behaviour: what level of education people acquire, what occupation they choose, which job offer (and wage offer) they accept, whether they remain single or enter into a partnership (and if so with whom), and so on. These models postulate ...

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