Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.27, No.1, 2011. pp. 121

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The 2010 Morris Hansen Lecture Dealing with Survey Nonresponse in Data Collection, in Estimation

In dealing with survey nonresponse, statisticians need to consider (a) measures to be taken at the data collection stage, and (b) measures to be taken at the estimation stage. One may employ some form of responsive design. In the later stages of the data collection in particular, one tries to achieve an ultimate set of responding units that is “better balanced” or “more representative” than if no special effort is made. The concept of “balanced response set” introduced in this article extends the well-known idea of “balanced sample.” A measure of “lack of balance” is proposed; it is a quadratic form relating to a multivariate auxiliary vector; its statistical properties are explored. But whether or not good balance has been achieved in the data collection, a compelling question remains at the estimation stage: How to achieve the most effective reduction of nonresponse bias in the survey estimates. Balancing alone may not help. The nonresponse adjustment effort is aided by a bias indicator, a product of three factors involving selected powerful auxiliary variables.

Balanced response set, representative response set, responsive design, lack of balance, auxiliary information, calibrated adjustment weighting

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