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Fitzgerald Jennifer, Duncan Lawrence (2011), Local cohesion and radical right support: The case of the Swiss People's Party, in Electoral Studies
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Bottan Nicolas Luis, Pérez Truglia Ricardo (2011), Deconstructing the hedonic treadmill: Is happiness autoregressive?, in The Journal of Socio-Economics
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Brink Mark (2011), Parameters of well-being and subjective health and their relationship with residential traffic noise exposure - A representative evaluation in Switzerland, in Environment International
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The present research proposal aims at the financial support for the continuation of the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) for the years 2010-2011.The principal aim of the Swiss Household Panel (SHP), a longitudinal study launched in 1999, is to observe social change. In particular, it follows the dynamics of changing living conditions and representations in the population of Switzerland. By observing the same individuals over the course of time it allows not only to study the change in numbers (net change) but also the flow of movements between the various states of being (gross change). Moreover, the SHP is a comprehensive survey covering a broad range of social fields and a variety of topics and all members of the households in the panel aged 14 years and over are questioned.During the years 1998-2007, The Swiss Household Panel was a joint project run by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and the University of Neuchâtel. Since January 2008, the SHP is part of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS), located at the University of Lausanne.An overview of the present and future Swiss social sciences survey landscape shows that the SHP has a special place in the Swiss survey landscape, being the unique longitudinal study offering data to analyse micro social change on the mid to long term and on a comprehensive basis. Other longitudinal surveys either offer a smaller range of topics, follow a restricted subgroup, or allow only the study of short term transitions.Since its origin in 1999, the survey has annually covered a broad range of topics and approaches in the social sciences and includes both subjective assessments and concrete information. The household interviews last 15 minutes on average, with the individual ones lasting around 35 minutes.The survey is composed of two stratified samples of private households whose members represent the non-institutional resident population in Switzerland. They were drawn randomly in 1999 (SHP_I) and in 2004 (SHP_II), and are interviewed annually from September to February in the three main official national languages using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).The new data are available for users approximately one year after collection; this is after numerous quality checks are carried out by our Oracle electronic documentation system and new user-friendly variables are constructed (e.g. household typologies, standardized income, social stratification scales, etc.). To date, the first ten waves of SHP_I and five waves of SHP_II have been carried out successfully, and the first nine waves are already available to researchers, including data from the households recruited in 1999 (SHP_I, waves 1 to 9) and from the 2004 refreshment sample (SHP_II, waves 1 to 4). Globally, between 1999 and 2009 22’000 persons, members of more than 8’500 household were followed by the SHP_I and SHP_II, of which nearly 15’000 were interviewed personally.The problem of attrition is the principal threat of any longitudinal study; nonresponse decreases the size of samples and can cause bias in survey estimates. Consequent measures have been taken to stabilize attrition rates (and even to increase participation) from 2006 to 2008 (waves 8 to 10 of SHP_I and waves 3 to 5 of SHP_II). Thus, from 2006, the number of interviews conducted for the SHP_I was increased; this phenomenon was also observed in the SHP_II in 2008. Consequently, in 2009 and beyond, similar measures will be taken.As of June 2009, the research network “Living in Switzerland” counts some 570 registered members, who analyse the SHP data on a very large variety of topics (1052 were mentioned). The domains range over life-course analysis, health, poverty, living conditions of elderly people or immigrants, political participation and life satisfaction, etc.Among the SHP the data users, sociology (42%) and economics (21%) are by far the most prevalent disciplines, followed by political science (10%), statistics (6%), public health (5%), and psychology (3%). But a few technical scientists and geographers are also present, indicating that spatially related topics are also being analysed using the SHP data. The data users belong mainly to swiss academic institutions (65%), but also to international academic institutions (14%), public administrations (13%), and private institutes (8%).A recent (June 2009) review of the literature (especially journal articles, books, official reports) shows that 258 publications are based on SHP data: among them are 71 journal articles, 64 books or book sections, 97 reports or working papers, and 26 thesis. Nearly all modules and sub-modules of our questionnaires were used.Since 2004 (except in 2008), the Swiss Household Panel has organised an annual International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland. These conferences have greatly contributed to the interdisciplinary scientific exchange among Swiss and foreign researchers using the SHP data for their analyses and publications. The last issue, the 5th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland took place on June 4 and 5, 2009 at the University of Lausanne. A Methodological Workshop dedicated to the Analysis of Longitudinal Data was also held. It must be stressed that, for the first time, the conference was almost fully dedicated to longitudinal analysis and attended by (mostly) regular data users.Moreover, a special issue of the Swiss Journal of Sociology on “Longitudinal Analysis in Switzerland”, focusing on social change and stability in Switzerland, will be published in 2010.During the next funding period (2010-2011), we plan to conduct development work in three main areas, i.e. (1) communication and incentives; (2) weighting schemes, and (3) questionnaires, mainly to (1) fight attrition, and (2) improve the analytical potential of the SHP for the scientific community.During the same period, we will, moreover, (a) implement a (secure) system of internet dissemination of data and documentation, (b) take decisions regarding a potential new sample for the next funding period (2012-2013), and (c) possibly implement alternative modes of data collection according to respondents' requests.In practice, we propose to implement during the 2010-2011 period several changes concerning the mode and the amount of incentives, namely the introduction of unconditional monetary incentive in place of rewarding only participants. We also plan to introduce conditional monetary incentive for the household if all eligible members of the family participate in the SHP, with the opportunity to convert this cash into a donation.The advancement of the weighting of the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) data is also an ongoing project. We propose four improvements to offer more research opportunities with the SHP data, namely (1) to develop transitional longitudinal weights for individuals, (2) to create longitudinal weights for households, (3) to implement a new transversal weighting scheme that incorporates households consisting entirely of non-original sample members (non-OSMs), and (4) to create weights for children with age less than 14.Regarding questionnaire development, we will implement two main measures: (1) revision of the current questionnaires (SHP_I and SHP_II), and (2) construction of new questionnaires for a potential SHP_III. A modularization of these questionaires is foreseen, leading to a differentiated system of questioning similar to other panels, with a core part asked each year, a rotating core of questions repeated at given time intervals, and unique questions asked only once.The present proposal for funding covers the 12th and 13th wave of data collection for the original 1999 SHP_I and the waves 7 and 8 of the 2004 SHP_II for the years 2010-2011, as well as the salaries of 11 scientific, technical and administrative collaborators amounting to 8.6 full-time positions.