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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Challenges and pitfalls of measuring wages via web surveys - some explorations
Year 2012
Access date 01.12.2012

Collecting data on wages is central for socio-economic research. However, besides high rates of people who do not answer wage-related questions, measurement issues are also relevant. Most data from official statistics are too aggregated to allow for detailed individual level analyses which are crucial for supporting manager decisions and encouraging innovative political-economic ideas in the long run. In this context, web surveys seem to offer a lot of advantages, such as worldwide coverage, cost benefits and a fast data collection process. For sensitive questions, like income, they can provide more reliable results as the often observed social desirability effects can be eliminated. Their drawback is that they comprise many methodological challenges. A core problem, in particular for volunteer web surveys, is related to the representativeness of the data as the sub-population with Internet access might be quite specific. Against this background, the driving research question is whether wage-related (volunteer) web surveys are representative, and if not how representativeness can be achieved. For that purpose, WageIndicator data (a continuous volunteer web survey running now in 70 countries which started 2001 in the Netherlands) is compared to the LISS panel (a representative Dutch web panel) and official statistics population data. Selected core variables common to the considered surveys are used and more advanced adjustment techniques, such as simple weighting, propensity score adjustment and the Maxent approach are applied. Properties and theoretical advantages of the methods are compared and discussed. The advantage of the applied analyses is that the results show whether and how the representativeness of a volunteer web surveys can be improved with a-posteriori techniques. Moreover, by comparing probability and non-probability based web surveys with population values insights are offered whether probability-based web surveys really surpass the disadvantages of non-probability based web surveys.

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Year of publication2012
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations