Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.17, No.2, 2001. pp. 209226

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Nonresponse in U.S. Government Household Surveys: Consistent Measures, Recent Trends, and New Insights

Nonresponse rates provide critical measures of survey quality, but consistent measures that are comparable across surveys and over time remain scarce, even in continuing large surveys. The consistent response and nonresponse measures developed in this article are comparable across surveys. Several comparisons are shown for the years 1990 to 1999 in six continuing household surveys that provide data for key national social and economic statistics in the United States. Examining these nonresponse measures provides new insights into recent nonresponse trends. Additional consistent nonresponse rates addressing panel surveys are also defined. These rates show the value of using information already available to portray special aspects of nonresponse and suggest additional research.

Initial interview; panel survey nonresponse; components of nonresponse.

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