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RDS - a Stata program for respondent-driven sampling


  • Matthias Schonlau

    (DIW Berlin
    Rand Corporation)

  • Elisabeth Liebau

    (DIW Berlin)


Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) is a sampling technique typically employed for hard-to-reach populations (for example, homeless people, people with AIDS, immigrants). Briefly, initial seed respondents recruit additional respondents from their network of friends. The recruiting process repeats iteratively, thereby forming long referral chains. It is crucial to obtain estimates of respondents’ network sizes (for example, the number of friends with the characteristic of interest). RDS shares some similarities with snowball sampling, but the theoretical foundation for inference using RDS samples is much stronger. We will give a brief overview of this technique and introduce a new user-written Stata command for RDS.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Schonlau & Elisabeth Liebau, 2010. "RDS - a Stata program for respondent-driven sampling," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2010 09, Stata Users Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:dsug10:09

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