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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Response Format Effects in the Measurement of Employment
Year 2013
Access date 29.05.2013

Accurate measurement of employment is essential to track employment trends in a nation, with the information used to determine the effectiveness of a variety of private and governmental
programs designed to increase employment. Some have noted discrepancies in estimated employment numbers between the Census and the CPS (Census typically has a lower count of
employed people), most often attributed to differences in interviewing mode, time frame reference, or sampling frame. Many researchers using paper-pencil or Web-based questionnaires present a multiple response question (‘Select all that apply’) to assess employment. However, in a telephone interview, employment is often asked through a series of yes-no questions, with the interviewer requesting a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response for each item presented in sequence (cf. Smyth, Christian, and Dillman, 2008, POQ). In research with selfadministered questionnaires, the Yes-No Grid format has been found to yield a higher level of endorsement than the Multiple Response format in self-administered surveys (Smyth, Dillman, Christian, and Stern, 2006, POQ; Thomas and Klein, 2006, JOS). This paper reports on two studies – Study 1 was a Web-based study that was conducted across 24 monthly waves with over 60,000 respondents (18 or older) using an opt-in non-probability panel, balanced demographically for age, sex, region, education, and income. Respondents were randomly assigned to one of the 3 employment response scale formats: Multiple Response Format (MRF); Yes-No Grid (YNG for employment); Single Response Format (SRF). Study 2 was a Web-based study with over 2700 respondents using a probability-recruited panel (GfKKnowledge Networks) with the same conditions used in Study 1. In both studies, endorsement of every category was higher with the YNG and lowest with the SRF. We will also describe how these results are related to trend changes across quarters and how they are related to other work-related variables, including hours worked/week.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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