Research news, analysis and insights

Variation within households in consent

This study expands knowledge of consent in linking survey and administrative data by studying respondents’ behaviour when consenting to link their own records and when consenting to link those of their children. It develops and tests a number of hypothesised mechanisms of consent, some of which were not explored in the past. The hypotheses cover: parental pride, privacy concerns, loyalty to the survey, pre-existing relations with the agency holding the data, and interviewer effects. The study uses data from the longitudinal Millennium Cohort Study to analyse the correlates of consent in multiple domains (i.e. linkage of education, health and economic records). The findings show that respondent’s behaviour vary depending on the consent domain and on the person within the household for whom consent is sought. In particular, the cohort member’s cognitive skills and the main respondent’s privacy concerns have differential effects on consent.

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