Chapter

Nonresponse Error at the Unit Level

in The Total Survey Error Approach

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780226891279
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226891293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226891293.003.0008
Nonresponse Error at the Unit Level

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Nonresponse error can be at the unit level as well as at the item level. Unit nonresponse occurs when some people in the designated sample are not interviewed. The most intriguing controversy on nonresponse error is the extent to which efforts should be made to maximize response rates. A high response rate has traditionally been considered essential to guarantee that the sample is representative enough to be credible, but studies are beginning to find that lower response rates do not necessarily lead to greater response bias. This chapter begins with a discussion of the sources of survey nonresponse. The second section discusses theories of survey participation, and the third section summarizes empirical studies of cooperation along with methods for increasing cooperation. The response rate controversy and statistical solutions to unit nonresponse are reviewed.

Keywords: nonresponse error; response rate; surveys

Chapter.  18967 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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