The aim of the paper is to compare two alternative survey designs in terms of resultant response rates, non response bias and cost. The first design is a simple postal survey with follow-up mailings; the second design is a two-phase multi-mode design, where the postal survey is followed at the second phase by a telephone survey of non-respondents. We present a case study based on a survey of employers. In this study we find evidence that the sample obtained using only postal methods is biased in important respects. Bias is not apparent in the demographic characteristics of the employees. But bias is observed in some of the employees’ employment characteristics and some of the characteristics of the firms in which they work. The multi mode design seems, overall, to have reduced or removed the bias of the postal sample. Only in marginal respects was some further bias introduced. We also compare costs of the two designs, to enable a comparison of cost-effectiveness at bias reduction.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 24, 2007
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