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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Mode effects in Switzerland: non‐response and measurement error on the European Social Survey
Year 2009
Access date 22.11.2009

One argument in favour of mixing modes of data collection in surveys is that using a combination of modes may help to reduce the likelihood of non

‐response bias by encouraging a potentially greater number and wider range of respondents to participate. Meanwhile, a strong argument against mixed mode surveys is that using different methods to collect data from different sample members can introduce differential measurement errors, confounding comparisons across groups. Understanding the necessary trade‐off between different sources of error is essential if survey designers are to make informed decisions about whether or not to mix modes. In this paper, I investigate the effects of mode on nonresponse and measurement error in two implementations of the European Social Survey (ESS) conducted in Switzerland: 1) the standard round 3 face‐to‐face survey; and 2) a trial version of the survey conducted alongside round 3 by telephone. I compare patterns of nonresponse on both surveys and, controlling for differences in the composition of the achieved samples, explore the extent of differential measurement error across the two modes. The presence of bias resulting from both error sources is assessed through comparisons with benchmark statistics. Using paradata from both surveys, comparisons are also made between subgroups of respondents distinguished on the basis of the level of effort required to secure their participation in the survey (i.e. number of contact attempts, refusal conversion efforts) to draw conclusions about the potential costs and benefits of using additional modes on the ESS as a way of managing total survey error.

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Year of publication2009
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - WAPOR 62nd Annual Conference, 2009 (13)