China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) is a nationally representative, annual longitudinal survey of Chinese communities, families, and individuals launched in 2010 by the Institute of Social Science Survey (ISSS) of Peking University, China. The CFPS is designed to collect individual-, family-, and community-level longitudinal data in contemporary China. The studies focus on the economic, as well as the non-economic, wellbeing of the Chinese population, with a wealth of information covering such topics as economic activities, education outcomes, family dynamics and relationships, migration, and health.
The University of Michigan collaborated with Peking University in China to assist them in establishing the Institute for Social Science Survey (ISSS) which has completed the largest automated panel study ever conducted in China. The study used state-of-the-art technical systems developed at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center and adapted for the Chinese context. For the baseline data collection, staff of the ISSS completed computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) surveys in over 57,000 households with all household members 10 years of age and older in this nationwide representative sample. Another 635 community-level surveys were also conducted. Two waves of data collection have been completed and ISSS is about to start the third wave of data collection this summer. These families will be interviewed every year for another 6 years. Among many other measures, this project also measured both behavior and ideational factors.
Since the fielding of the CFPS, ISSS has undertaken two other very large studies, including the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) and the China Mental Health Study, both the largest studies ever undertaken in China on these topics. SRC faculty and staff have continued to provide technical support to these studies through ISSS. For the CFPS, SRC’s bilingual technical staff programmed all data collection systems directly into Chinese. In addition to developing all technical systems, SRC staff assisted in the design and implementation of all phases of the project, including sample design, interviewer training, data collection monitoring using the rich paradata collected in SRC’s adapted systems, as well as all aspects of quality control monitoring, including the review of digitally recorded interviews and audit trail files. Training of ISSS staff occurred both at SRC and at PKU with participation of Chinese graduate students from both institutions with the goal of building and strengthening the long-term research capacity in China.
Past and Future Success
In the 2010 baseline survey, the CFPS successfully interviewed almost 15,000 families and almost 30,000 individuals within these families, for an approximately response rate of 79%. The CFPS respondents are tracked through annual follow-up surveys. The CFPS is funded by the Chinese government through Peking University. The CFPS promises to provide to the academic community the most comprehensive and highest-quality survey data on contemporary China.