Survey Methodology
Adaptive survey designs to minimize survey mode effects – a case study on the Dutch Labor Force Survey

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by Melania Calinescu and Barry SchoutenNote 1

  • Release date: December 17, 2015


Assessing the impact of mode effects on survey estimates has become a crucial research objective due to the increasing use of mixed-mode designs. Despite the advantages of a mixed-mode design, such as lower costs and increased coverage, there is sufficient evidence that mode effects may be large relative to the precision of a survey. They may lead to incomparable statistics in time or over population subgroups and they may increase bias. Adaptive survey designs offer a flexible mathematical framework to obtain an optimal balance between survey quality and costs. In this paper, we employ adaptive designs in order to minimize mode effects. We illustrate our optimization model by means of a case-study on the Dutch Labor Force Survey. We focus on item-dependent mode effects and we evaluate the impact on survey quality by comparison to a gold standard.

Key Words: Mode-specific selection bias; Mode-specific measurement bias; Survey costs; Survey quality.

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