Advantages and disadvantages : longitudinal vs. repeated cross-section surveys

Advantages and disadvantages : longitudinal vs. repeated cross-section surveys

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    The benefits of a longitudinal analysis over a repeated cross-sectional study include increased statistical power and the capability to estimate a greater range of conditional probabilities. With the Puget Sound Transportation Panel (PSTP), and any study where weighted stratified sampling is employed, the benefits extend to include the capability to make appropriate inferences regarding changes in strata proportions with time. In the PSTP study, this would include changes in mode choice proportions. The repeated cross-sectional analysis is sometimes more desirable. This can occur when: 1. It is more cost-effective to resample many new subjects than to repeatedly sample from the same group of subjects; moreover, enough new subjects are recruited to compensate for the loss in statistical power when using a repeated cross-sectional analysis; 2. only marginal probabilities are of interest; and 3. either unweighted and unstratified sampling is used and justified, or weights are used to control for some attributes but estimates of the values or proportions of these attributes are not made.
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