ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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Within-Unit Respondent Selection Errors in Landline RDD Surveys

Paul John Lavrakas, Trevor N Tompson

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 5 - Law Building, Room 020
Date: 2012-07-11 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-12-24


Coverage of the general population in a household survey depends not only on the unit-level sampling design, but also on the method used to select an eligible respondent – the so-called “designated respondent” – within each household. In 2004, researchers from Westat (Rizzo, Brick, and Park) described a new method for within-unit respondent selection based on the number of eligibles in a household, which in theory appears to be a accurate and cost-effective approach to respondent selection. Our paper will report on our use of a hybrid version of the Westat method that has been implemneted in numerous Associated Press/GfK Roper dual frame RDD surveys (combined n > 10,000) during the past three years. The method generates a much better overall unweighted female/male selection of eligibles than other non-Kish selection methods. However, unexpected results consistently occur whereby there is a significant interaction between (a) gender of the interviewer and (b) gender of the respondents selected. The patterns observed were found to be associated with various types of misselection errors and a form of respondent-related measurement error.