Non-response in an International Mixed Self-Administered Survey

Vidal Díaz de Rada Igúzquiza


The reduction of nonresponse is one of the greatest challenges facing survey research in the 21st century. This paper compared the non-responses obtained with two self-administered questionnaires to a general population survey, and it compares nonresponses identified for every one.

In the current study, from the 13,164 interviews sent that were not responded to, 2,480 were due to the letters being returned unopened. This is a large group, 15.8% of the initial sample. The first wave achieved a cooperation rate (COOP2) of 15.66%, and the second 9.5%. Despite this reduced response rate, there was no difference for gender and level of studies, while regarding age, a lower rate of participation was seen among the young and a greater participation among the old. As regards the geographic areas, nonresponse is higher in Maghreb and Latin American countries. Two in every three citizens in the European contries did not respond, a percentage that is reduced to 58% in North America.

The response rate, often used as an indicator of survey quality (2006among others, Stoop, 2005; Beullens & Loosveldt, 2012), does not always indicate biased estimates. The same is true here: a subsequent survey, conducted by telephone, with high levels of cooperation, showed behavioral and attitudinal traits similar to those detected in the study that used a self-administered questionnaire.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Vidal Díaz de Rada Igúzquiza

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Journal of Sociological Research ISSN 1948-5468


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