Will the design support longitudinal data analysis (e.g., analysis of career changes by individuals) both before and after 2000 and into the future?
Will pre- and post-2000 aggregate results be comparable enough to support analysis of trends over time?
Will the design provide information that can be used to better understand (and, perhaps, adjust for) biases in the data for the 1990s?
We consider these criteria of secondary importance because each one really matters only to the extent that the quality of future data is high. Although cost is not one of our explicit evaluation criteria, we recognize that cost will constrain parameters of the final design choice.
Before discussing the merits of the hybrid option, we compare the two basic options. Each—the 2000 census frame option and the 1990 census frame option—possesses certain advantages relative to the other.
By replacing the 1990 sample with one chosen from the 2000 census, the 2000 census frame option immediately removes the systematic coverage gaps in the current sample that have accumulated between 1990 and 2000. Thus, the 2000 census frame option will eliminate whatever bias has developed due to cumulative nonresponse. Indeed, the nonresponse problem for the 1990 census frame option may increase dramatically in 2003 because more than 4 years will have passed since the last survey— making recontact more difficult than in previous surveys.
Although the plan for the 1990 census frame option includes strategies to fill in coverage gaps and to reduce nonresponse bias, we expect those to have limited success. Screening with the 2000 census for recent immigrants who meet the SESTAT criteria (groups (3) and (4) detailed above) may be effective. However, we expect that screening for new college graduates in non-S&E fields who work in S&E occupations (group (2)) and for college graduates in non-S&E fields who converted to S&E occupations after April 1993 (group (5)) would be very expensive.5 Finally, the