Learning how to use a complex data set like the HRS can seem daunting. Fortunately, HRS provides all the information and tools necessary to get started. Below I outline 4 steps to getting started with the HRS.
Step 1 – First, learn about the survey design and content.
- This 12 minute video provides a quick overview of the study.
- For more detailed information on the survey check out the Data Book.
- There is also an Introduction page with a comprehensive set of links to documents and webpages with information about the study.
- And for a brief overview on using the HRS website.
Step 2 – Then, explore the work that’s been done previously using HRS data, either in your specific area of interest or more broadly.
- The online bibliography is a searchable database of various publications using HRS data.
Step 3 – Search for variables of interest, and determine in which waves the variables are available.
- If you know what variables you’re looking for and have a good idea of which section of the survey they can be found, you can learn about variables of interest from the online codebooks.
- But if you don’t know what specific variables you’re looking for, or which waves, you can do key word searches using the Concordance Tool.
Step 4 – Download the data.
- Need to be a registered user.
- There are many data products to choose from. Most likely you’ll start with one or more of the publicly available data sets.