Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.27, No.2, 2011. pp. 339357

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Using Paradata and Other Auxiliary Data to Examine Mode Switch Nonresponse in a "Recruit-and-Switch" Telephone Survey

Minimizing unit nonresponse and maximizing reporting accuracy about sensitive items are common goals among survey practitioners. In order to maximize reporting accuracy without compromising on response rates a common strategy is to recruit respondents over the phone and switch them to a self-administered mode (e.g., IVR, web) for answering the sensitive items. A drawback to the “recruit-and-switch” design is that a substantial portion of the sample (typically 20 percent or more) drop out during the mode switch. Recent evidence suggests that this form of nonresponse can introduce bias and offset gains in accuracy achieved by self-administration. We analyze respondents’ likelihood of complying with the mode switch request in a survey of university alumni. Results indicate that paradata derived from the screening interview are related to mode switch participation. Also, we find evidence that adding reluctant sample members into the mode switch respondent pool yields improved estimates with lower nonresponse bias.

Data collection, sensitive questions, mixed mode, CATI, IVR, web

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ISSN 0282-423X
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