Proposal Material

Description of ALP

This project will collect data using the RAND American Life Panel (ALP, The ALP consists of a panel of about 6,000 U.S. respondents ages 18 and older who regularly take surveys over the Internet. An advantage over most other Internet panels is that the respondents to the ALP need not have Internet access when they are initially recruited and thus the panel can be based on a probability sample of the U.S. population. Approximately twice a month, respondents receive an email with a request to visit the ALP website and fill out questionnaires on the Internet. A typical interview takes no more than 30 minutes, and respondents are paid an incentive to participate ($20 per 30 minutes interview time). Since January 2006, the ALP has fielded over 400 surveys on topics including financial decision-making, the effect of political events on self-reported well-being, inflation expectations, joint retirement decisions, health decision-making, Social Security knowledge and expectations, measurement of health utility, voting preference in the Presidential election, and more. Whenever a potential panel member does not have a computer or Internet access, they are provided with a computer and/or Internet access. Response rates typically are around 80%, depending on the length of the survey and the time in the field. Most respond within one week, but response rates rise to about 85% after one month.