Over the last twenty years, longitudinal household panel surveys have become essential elements of the social science infrastructure in Europe, the UK, North America, Asia and Australia. They shed new light on a wide range of social and economic phenomena and their effects on wellbeing. They also offer data that can be used to evaluate policy. Currently, no such survey exists in New Zealand, although Statistics New Zealand administered the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) from 2002–2010.
Motu Senior Fellow Dave Maré is investigating options for a new Longitudinal Household Survey (LHS) in New Zealand. Such a survey would make a valuable contribution to New Zealand’s social science infrastructure.
In late 2012, Dave circulated a discussion paper prepared with independent consultant Ron Crawford, and ran a half-day workshop requesting feedback around establishing a new LHS. That feedback was used by Dave and Ron to complete a Motu Working Paper.
Later, a half-day workshop was held in Wellington on 20 August 2012. At the workshop, Dave Maré provided an overview of the issues and options and of the feedback received. The workshop also included a presentation by Mark Wooden, the Director of the Australian HILDA study, on Lessons from HILDA, and a Statistics New Zealand presentation on Longitudinal data: Recent Experience and Future Direction by Anton Samoilenko.
Establishing a new LHS for New Zealand would require significant interest and support from the research, policy, and statistical community. Current work under this project evaluates the case for a new LHS and sets out issues and options for its design, governance, and administration. It has been supported by the Motu Foundation, Motu Research, Statistics New Zealand, the Treasury and MBIE through the Department of Labour.