Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Pakistan Panel Household Survey: Sample Size and Attrition

The socio-economic databases in Pakistan, as in most countries, can be classified into three broad categories, namely registration-based statistics, data produced by different population censuses and household survey-based data. The registration system of births and deaths in Pakistan has historically been inadequate [Afzal and Ahmed (1974)] and the population censuses have not been carried out regularly. The household surveys such as Pakistan Demographic Survey (PDS), Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Household Income Expenditure Survey (HIES) have been periodically conducted since the 1960s. These surveys have filled the data gaps created by the weak registration system and the irregularity in conducting censuses. The data generated by the household surveys have also enabled social scientists to examine a wide range of issues, including natural increase in population, education, employment, poverty, health, nutrition, and housing. All these surveys are, however, cross-sectional in nature so it is not possible to gauge the dynamics of these social and economic processes, for example the transition from school to labour market, movement into or out of poverty, movement of labour from one state of employment to another. A proper understanding of such dynamics requires longitudinal or panel datasets where the same households are visited over time. Since panel surveys are complex and expensive to carry out, they are not as commonly conducted as the cross-sectional surveys anywhere in the world and in Pakistan they are even rarer


G. M. Arif