Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.17, No.3, 2001. pp. 337350

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An Exploration of Question Characteristics that Mediate Interviewer Effects on Item Nonresponse

In this article we analyze the item nonresponse to several questions in a face-to-face survey and assess the effect of respondent and interviewer characteristics on this nonresponse. We distinguish different kinds of questions (threatening or not, easy or complex) and different kinds of nonresponse (missing value versus "don't know' or "no opinion' answer, with or without a "don't know' or "no opinion' filter). Using multilevel logistic regression we try to discern respondent, interviewer and question related sources of item nonresponse. The main purpose of the article is to examine which item nonresponse is subject to interviewer effects. Our results suggest that question difficulty and the scope of the interviewer task might explain the size of the interviewer effects on item nonresponse.

Survey; missing value; no opinion answer; interviewer item nonresponse; multilevel logistic regression.

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