Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.10, No.4, 1994. pp. 437447

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Significance Editing in the Australian Survey of Average Weekly Earnings

Editing survey returns is a substantial component of the cost of running sample surveys. This paper presents a method for reducing the resources allocated to editing. The method is based on estimating the effect on the survey estimates of resolving the edit queries for each unit. This method has been introduced to the Australian Survey of Average Weekly Earnings. As a result the number of respondents contacted to resolve edit queries has been more than halved without affecting the quality of the final statistics. This has reduced the total respondent burden and also the overall costs of conducting the survey. It has also enabled an earlier publication of the survey results. This paper gives a description of the technique, and also presents results from an evaluation study that was conducted prior to its implementation.

Data quality; editing; respondent burden; respondent re-contact; survey costs.

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