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Understanding cross-national differences in unit non-response: the role of contact data


  • Blom, Annelies G.
  • Lynn, Peter
  • Jäckle, Annette


This paper showcases ways in which contact data can provide useful auxiliary information to study non-response and devise new strategies for statistical adjustment and fieldwork specification in cross-national surveys. We propose a typology of the processes generating contact data and discuss their implications for the utility for methodological research. We also propose criteria for the comparability of contact data in cross-national surveys. To illustrate the potential of contact data, we review existing studies of non-response in cross-national studies. The paper ends with recommendations for cross-national studies, with the aim of increasing the widespread availability and use of standardised contact data.

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  • Blom, Annelies G. & Lynn, Peter & Jäckle, Annette, 2008. "Understanding cross-national differences in unit non-response: the role of contact data," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-01, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert M. Groves & Steven G. Heeringa, 2006. "Responsive design for household surveys: tools for actively controlling survey errors and costs," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(3), pages 439-457.
    2. Lynn, Peter & Beerten, Roeland & Laiho, Johanna & Martin, Jean, 2001. "Recommended standard final outcome categories and standard definitions of response rate for social surveys," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Nicoletti, Cheti & Buck, Nick, 2004. "Explaining interviewee contact and co-operation in the British and German Household Panels," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blom, Annelies G., 2008. "Measuring nonresponse cross-nationally," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-41, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Blom, Annelies G., 2009. "Explaining cross-country differences in contact rates," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-08, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Kleinert, Corinna & Ruland, Michael & Trahms, Annette, 2013. "Bias in einem komplexen Surveydesign : Ausfallprozesse und Selektivität in der IAB-Befragung ALWA," FDZ Methodenreport 201302_de, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Pforr, Klaus & Blohm, Michael & Blom, Annelies G. & Erdel, Barbara & Felderer, Barbara & Fräßdorf, Mathis & Hajek, Kristin & Helmschrott, Susanne & Kleinert, Corinna & Koch, Achim & Krieger, Ulrich & , 2015. "Are Incentive Effects on Response Rates and Nonresponse Bias in Large-scale, Face-to-face Surveys Generalizable to Germany? Evidence from Ten Experiments," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 740-768.
    5. Lagorio, Carlos, 2016. "Call and response: modelling longitudinal contact and cooperation using Wave 1 call records data," Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2016-01, Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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