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A Tradeoff Between Quality and Quantity. An Examination of the Negative Relationship Between Unit and Item Non-Response in Survey Research

Paper i proceeding
Författare Johan Martinsson
Elias Markstedt
Mikael Gilljam
Publicerad i The Annual Meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Orlando, maj 2012
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Språk en
Länkar www.aapor.org/AM/Template.cfm?Secti...
Ämneskategorier Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

Previous studies have identified a negative relationship between unit non-response and item nonresponse concerning economic expectation questions in household surveys. Drawing on 25 years of consecutive postal surveys in Sweden with a total of 60 000 respondents, we further explore the connection between unit and item non-response with a wider set of substantial topics including attitudes, values, self-reported behavior, economic expectations and socio-economic status. We start by describing the long-term trend concerning unit non-response and item non-response for different types of questions. The general hypothesis is a negative relationship, but possibly conditional on the type of questions and types of respondents. Next, we move on to explore the validity of the response continuum model and the relationship between unit and item non-response. More specifically, we examine whether respondents that need more reminders before participating in the survey provide more item non-response. Our large pool of respondents permits a detailed analysis of this question across various sub-groups of the population and across different types of substantial topics and types of questions. Lastly, we also assess to what extent the placement of a battery of question in the survey influences the rate of item non-response. Does a question receive less item non-response if it is asked early in a survey, than if it is asked later? Taking advantage of the variation in the placement and order of a set of question batteries between different years and between different questionnaires the same years, we explore how large such effects are.

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