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Noncoverage and nonresponse in an Internet survey


  • Couper, Mick P.
  • Kapteyn, Arie
  • Schonlau, Matthias
  • Winter, Joachim


We explore the correlates of noncoverage and nonresponse in an Internet survey conducted as part of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a panel study of persons 50 years old and older in the US. About 30\% of HRS respondents indicated they used the Internet. Of these, 73\% expressed willingness to do a Web survey. A subset of this group was subsequently sent a mailed invitation to participate in a Web survey and 78\% completed the survey. Using multivariate models, we find significant demographic, financial, and health-related differences in access, consistent with other research. There are fewer differences in willingness (given access) and response (given willingness). However, disparities in health and socio-economic status persist after controlling for demographic differences in coverage and response. Weighting on demographics alone is thus unlikely to yield a representative sample in such surveys. Noncoverage (lack of access to the Internet) appears to be of greater concern than nonresponse (unwillingness to participate given access) for representation in Internet surveys of this age group.

Suggested Citation

  • Couper, Mick P. & Kapteyn, Arie & Schonlau, Matthias & Winter, Joachim, 2007. "Noncoverage and nonresponse in an Internet survey," Munich Reprints in Economics 20093, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20093

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    Cited by:

    1. Milan Scasny & Milan Scasny & Iva Zverinova & Mikolaj Czajkowski, 2015. "Individual preference for the alternative fuel vehicles and their attributes in Poland," EcoMod2015 8575, EcoMod.
    2. Axsen, Jonn & Mountain, Dean C. & Jaccard, Mark, 2009. "Combining stated and revealed choice research to simulate the neighbor effect: The case of hybrid-electric vehicles," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt02n9j6cv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    3. Axsen, Jonn & Mountain, Dean C. & Jaccard, Mark, 2009. "Combining stated and revealed choice research to simulate the neighbor effect: The case of hybrid-electric vehicles," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 221-238, August.
    4. repec:eee:touman:v:32:y:2011:i:4:p:717-724 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:aia:aiaswp:wp76 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Martin Kroh & Denise Lüdtke & Sandra Düzel & Florin Winter, 2016. "Response Error in a Web Survey and a Mailed Questionnaire: The Role of Cognitive Functioning," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 888, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Arthur Van Soest & Arie Kapteyn, 2009. "Mode and Context Effects in Measuring Household Assets," Working Papers WR-668, RAND Corporation.
    8. Joachim Winter & Amelie Wuppermann, 2014. "Do They Know What Is At Risk? Health Risk Perception Among The Obese," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 564-585, May.
    9. Matthias Schonlau & Arthur van Soest & Arie Kapteyn & Mick Couper, 2009. "Selection Bias in Web Surveys and the Use of Propensity Scores," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 37(3), pages 291-318, February.
    10. Arthur van Soest & Arie Kapteyn, 2009. "Mode and Context Effects in Measuring Household Assets," Working Papers 200949, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    11. Beth Chaney & Adam Barry & J. Chaney & Michael Stellefson & Monica Webb, 2013. "Using screen video capture software to aide and inform cognitive interviewing," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(5), pages 2529-2537, August.
    12. Murray Rudd, 2011. "An Exploratory Analysis of Societal Preferences for Research-Driven Quality of Life Improvements in Canada," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 101(1), pages 127-153, March.
    13. Hsu, Joanne W. & McFall, Brooke H., 2015. "Mode effects in mixed-mode economic surveys: Insights from a randomized experiment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. repec:eee:joinma:v:37:y:2017:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Axsen, Jonn & Bailey, Joseph & Castro, Marisol Andrea, 2015. "Preference and lifestyle heterogeneity among potential plug-in electric vehicle buyers," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 190-201.

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