Although counts of the novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections and deaths are reported by several sources online, precise estimation of the exposed proportion of the population is not possible in most areas of the world. Estimates of other disease prevalence in the United States are often obtained through in-person seroprevalence surveys. The availability of testing only for individuals with symptoms, combined with stay-at-home and social distancing mandates to stem the spread of the disease, limit in-person data collection options. A probability-based mail survey with at-home, self-administered testing is a feasible method to safely estimate SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence within the United States while also easing burden on the U.S. public and health care system. This mail survey could be a one-time, cross-sectional design, or a repeated cross-sectional or longitudinal survey. We discuss several options for designing and conducting this survey.
We find rotation group bias in reports of spending in the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey. Contrary to our expectations, the more waves respondents complete, the higher the quality of their responses. Respondents become more likely to report the amount of money spent on purchases and less likely to report rounded amounts. There is no change over waves in the number of purchases reported or the average amount of money spent on the purchases.
Several studies have shown that high response rates are not associated with low bias in survey data. This paper shows that, for face-to-face surveys, the relationship between response rates and bias is moderated by the type of sampling method used. Using data from Rounds 1 through 7 of the European Social Survey, we develop two measures of selection bias, then build models to explore how sampling method, response rate, and their interaction affect selection bias. When interviewers are involved in selecting the sample of households or respondents for the survey, high reported response rates can in fact be a sign of poor data quality. We speculate that the positive association detected between response rates and selection bias is because of interviewers’ incentives to select households and respondents who are likely to complete the survey.
Many surveys aim to achieve high response rates to keep bias due to nonresponse low. However, research has shown that the relationship between the nonresponse rate and nonresponse bias is small. In fact, high response rates may lead to measurement error, if respondents with low response propensities provide survey responses of low quality. In this paper, we explore the relationship between response propensity and measurement error, specifically motivated misreporting, the tendency to give inaccurate answers to speed through an interview. Using data from four surveys conducted in several countries and modes, we analyze whether motivated misreporting is worse among those respondents who were the least likely to respond to the survey. Contrary to the prediction of our theoretical model, we find only limited evidence that reluctant respondents are more likely to misreport.
Panel survey participation can bring about unintended changes in respondents’ behaviour and/or their reporting of behaviour. Using administrative data linked to a large panel survey, we analyse whether the survey brings about changes in respondents’ labour market behaviour. We estimate the causal effect of panel participation on the take‐up of federal labour market programmes by using instrumental variables. Results show that panel survey participation leads to an increase in respondents’ take‐up of these measures. These results suggest that panel survey participation not only affects the reporting of behaviour, as previous studies have demonstrated, but can also alter respondents’ actual behaviour.
Administrative data are increasingly important in statistics, but, like other types of data, may contain measurement errors. To prevent such errors from invalidating analyses of scientific interest, it is therefore essential to estimate the extent of measurement errors in administrative data. Currently, however, most approaches to evaluate such errors involve either prohibitively expensive audits or comparison with a survey that is assumed perfect. We introduce the “generalized multitrait-multimethod” (GMTMM) model, which can be seen as a general framework for evaluating the quality of administrative and survey data simultaneously. This framework allows both survey and administrative data to contain random and systematic measurement errors. Moreover, it accommodates common features of administrative data such as discreteness, nonlinearity, and nonnormality, improving similar existing models. The use of the GMTMM model is demonstrated by application to linked survey-administrative data from the German Federal Employment Agency on income from of employment, and a simulation study evaluates the estimates obtained and their robustness to model misspecification. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.
Many face-to-face surveys use field staff to create lists of housing units from which samples are selected. However, housing unit listing is vulnerable to errors of undercoverage: Some housing units are missed and have no chance to be selected. Such errors are not routinely measured and documented in survey reports. This study jointly investigates the rate of undercoverage, the correlates of undercoverage, and the bias in survey data due to undercoverage in listed housing unit frames. Working with the National Survey of Family Growth, we estimate an undercoverage rate for traditional listing efforts of 13.6 percent. We find that multiunit status, rural areas, and map difficulties strongly correlate with undercoverage. We find significant bias in estimates of variables such as birth control use, pregnancies, and income. The results have important implications for users of data from surveys based on traditionally listed housing unit frames.