Data » What's Available » HRS 1994 Core » Experimental Modules

Module 1: CES-D depression scale
The version of the CES-D Depression Scale included on the Wave II instrument is a substantially truncated version of the scale used in Wave I. This module is a methodological experiment designed to assess the degree to which the Wave II scale loses information compared to the Wave I scale. The module has been analyzed by Dianne Steffick who finds that apparent increase in depression between Waves 1 and 2 is almost certainly do to the change in the scale for "all of the time/most of the time/some of the time/none of the time" to "yes/no".

Module 2: Crystallized intelligence
We decided to eliminate the similarities test (a test of crystallized intelligence) in the basic survey, on the grounds that crystallized IQ is not expected to change with any rapidity in the age-range we are considering, and is expected to change more slowly than memory. The similarities test in this experimental module is exactly the same test as contained on the Wave I survey.

Module 3: Functional health
This module is a methodological test of the Wave II functional health scale compared to the Wave I scale. As noted earlier, Wave I comprised a 4-point scale associated with level of difficultly in performing various activities, while telephone interview considerations led us to develop Wave II as a 2-point scale to be followed by a second 2-point scale in the event of a "some difficulty" response. The experimental module uses the original 4-point scale designed for a personal interview environment.

Module 4: Long-run income elasticity of labor supply (Spending And Saving)
The long-run response of labor hours to changes in household income is a parameter of considerable interest to labor economists. A labor supply parameter relating to income change is difficult to observe in the real world, and the experimental module is designed to set up a hypothetical set of circumstances that will yield pure estimates of income elasticity. The hypothetical illustration concerns the effect of a windfall gain on labor hours, along with measures that will generate an assessment of the strength of an altruism parameter.

Module 5: Risk aversion
Wave I contained a measure of risk aversion based on responses to a hypothetical situation involving alternate jobs and respondents' willingness to take jobs with various risky characteristics. The experimental module on Wave II is an attempt to refine our risk aversion measure by observing the distribution of risk aversion at the extremes of the distribution, where the Wave I data suggest most of the sample actually resides.

Module 6: Social support
This is a set of questions about sources of social support for the respondent, including spouses, friends and co-workers.

Module 7: Parent-child transfers
This module examines motivations for transfers from parents to children. It is intended to aid in the analysis of preference parameters, specifically altruism.

Module 8: ADLs
This module is designed to get some early baseline data on the incidence of activities of daily living (ADL) deficiencies in the sample, and to find out who the ADL helpers are. Part of the module asks about future needs for ADL help, as well as whether respondents perceive themselves to be at risk of helping someone else in ADLs.

Module 9: Activities and time allocation
Part of the attraction of retirement is the ability to divert time from market work to other activities, and this module is an attempt to assess the strength of some of the pull toward retirement that can be attributed to the desire to reallocate time to non-market time issues.

Module 0: Nutrition
This module asks respondents to report on the frequency they eat foods from the various major food groups. The lists of food types is fairly detailed distinguishing, for instance, red meats from other meat and from fish.

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