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 social representations in the population of Switzerland. 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 interviewed.
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 within it, being the only longitudinal study offering data to analyse micro social change in the mid to long term and on a comprehensive scale. This unique project has allowed numerous researchers to analyse the SHP data on a very large variety of topics, in many fields of the social sciences, and has already led to around 460 publications. The SHP organises an International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland every two years, which has greatly contributed to the interdisciplinary scientific exchange among Swiss and foreign researchers. Since 2010, the SHP also organises a Methodological Workshop in order to stimulate longitudinal analysis.
During the next funding period (2014-2016), besides the management of the SHP_I, SHP_II, and SHP_III, we will further develop the SHP in two main areas, i.e. (1) weighting schemes, and (2) questionnaires, mainly to minimize and correct for attrition, and to improve the analytical potential of the SHP for the scientific community. During the same period, we will also further develop our collaboration with the NCCR LIVES in particular.