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Life-course data reconstruction using complementary information taken from linked lives

Janna Albrecht, Holz-Rau, Christian and Joachim Scheiner

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2017, vol. 104, issue C, 308-318

Abstract: Recently, research on travel behaviour has focused on life-course and socialisation effects. As residential decisions are considered to be long-term decisions which affect daily travel behaviour significantly, knowledge of residential experiences made over the life-course may lead to a deeper understanding of later residential decisions and thus travel behaviour. Quantitative retrospective surveys are carried out to gather this information. These studies deal with missing information on particular life stages, e.g. childhood. This paper shows a new methodological approach for quantitative studies, illustrating how such missing life-course data can be reconstructed using complementary information taken from linked lives. The data used have been retrospectively collected from a sample of spatial planning students at TU Dortmund University, their parents and grandparents. The parents’ residential biography from birth until the setting up of a household of their own is reconstructed using information from the grandparents. The reconstructed data are compared with the statements the parents made for the relevant life stages, thus testing how well the reconstruction worked. The results show that the reconstruction works better for the mothers (than fathers) using the grandmothers’ information (rather than the grandfathers'). The findings also indicate that the reconstruction is more or less successful for various types of reconstructed data. The paper concludes with guidelines for future data reconstruction.

Keywords: Linking data; Life-course; Data reconstruction; Linked lives; Retrospective questionnaire; Residential biography (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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