A Note on Mechanisms Leading to Lower Data Quality of Late or Reluctant Respondents

Professorship/Faculty: Survey Methodology  
Authors: Kreuter, Frauke; Müller, Gerrit; Trappmann, Mark
Title of the Journal: Sociological Methods and Research
Publisher Information: Thousand Oaks [u.a.] : Sage Publ.
Year of publication: 2013
Issue: Online before print October 30, 2013
Pages / Size: 13 S.
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/0049124113508094
URL: http://smr.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/10/28...
Document Type: Article
Survey methodologists worry about trade-offs between nonresponse and measurement error. Past findings indicate that respondents brought into the survey late provide low-quality data. The diminished data quality is often attributed to lack of motivation. Quality is often measured through internal indicators and rarely through true scores. Using administrative data for validation purposes, this article documents increased measurement error as a function of recruitment effort for a large-scale employment survey in Germany. In this case study, the reduction in measurement quality of an important target variable is largely caused by differential measurement error in subpopulations and respective shifts in sample composition, as well as increased cognitive burden through the increased length of recall periods among later respondents. Only small portions of the relationship could be attributed to a lack of motivation among late or reluctant respondents.
Keywords: nonresponse, measurement error, recall error, fieldwork
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/6091
Release Date: 12. May 2014