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Dropout Rates and Response Times of an Occupation Search Tree in a Web Survey


  • Tijdens Kea

    () (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS), Postbus 94025 1090 GA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


Occupation is key in socioeconomic research. As in other survey modes, most web surveys use an open-ended question for occupation, though the absence of interviewers elicits unidentifiable or aggregated responses. Unlike other modes, web surveys can use a search tree with an occupation database. They are hardly ever used, but this may change due to technical advancements. This article evaluates a three-step search tree with 1,700 occupational titles, used in the 2010 multilingual WageIndicator web survey for UK, Belgium and Netherlands (22,990 observations). Dropout rates are high; in Step 1 due to unemployed respondents judging the question not to be adequate, and in Step 3 due to search tree item length. Median response times are substantial due to search tree item length, dropout in the next step and invalid occupations ticked. Overall the validity of the occupation data is rather good, 1.7-7.5% of the respondents completing the search tree have ticked an invalid occupation.

Suggested Citation

  • Tijdens Kea, 2014. "Dropout Rates and Response Times of an Occupation Search Tree in a Web Survey," Journal of Official Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 30(1), pages 23-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:offsta:v:30:y:2014:i:1:p:23-43:n:2

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Visintin & Kea Tijdens & Maarten van Klaveren, 2015. "Skill mismatch among migrant workers: evidence from a large multi-country dataset," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, December.
    2. Gweon Hyukjun & Schonlau Matthias & Steiner Stefan & Kaczmirek Lars & Blohm Michael, 2017. "Three Methods for Occupation Coding Based on Statistical Learning," Journal of Official Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 33(1), pages 101-122, March.
    3. Schierholz, Malte & Gensicke, Miriam & Tschersich, Nikolai, 2016. "Occupation coding during the interview," IAB Discussion Paper 201617, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Joanna Tyrowicz & Magdalena Smyk & Lucas van der Velde, 2018. "A cautionary note on the reliability of the online survey data - the case of Wage Indicator," GRAPE Working Papers 26, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    5. repec:iab:iabdpa:201813 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Brian Fabo & Miroslav BEBLAVY & Karolien LENAERTS & Zachary KILHOFFER, 2017. "An overview of European Platforms: Scope and Business Models," JRC Working Papers JRC109190, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

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