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Author: Nicole Watson

An important aspect of an indefinite life household panel study is to provide a sample of children who become new generations of respondents over time. The representativity of children and young adults in the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey is assessed after 16 waves. Estimates from the HILDA Survey are compared to official data sources of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and include demographic, education, employment, income and residential mobility variables. Both cross-section and longitudinal estimates are assessed. Overall, the HILDA Survey estimates are relatively close to the ABS estimates with the exception of the year of arrival of recent immigrants, having foreign-born parents, having a certificate level qualification, type of relationship in household, having zero income, the main source of income, and residential mobility. Most of these exceptions can be explained by differences in questionnaire design, respondent recall error, linkage error, and differences in the amount of missing data. The estimate of particular concern is the proportion of immigrants arriving in the last five years, which is underestimated in the HILDA Survey due to undercoverage of recent immigrants. This could be addressed by regular refreshment samples of recent immigrants.

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