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Journal of Official Statistics

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A Study of Assimilation Bias in Name-Based Sampling of Migrants

Rainer Schnell
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Duisburg-Essen, Methodology Research Unit. Lotharstr. 65, 47057 Duisburg, Germany.
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mark Trappmann
  • Institute for Employment Research, Regensburger Str. 104, 90478 Nuremberg, Germany and University of Bamberg, Germany
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Tobias Gramlich
Published Online: 2014-05-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0015


The use of personal names for screening is an increasingly popular sampling technique for migrant populations. Although this is often an effective sampling procedure, very little is known about the properties of this method. Based on a large German survey, this article compares characteristics of respondents whose names have been correctly classified as belonging to a migrant population with respondentswho aremigrants and whose names have not been classified as belonging to a migrant population. Although significant differences were found for some variables even with some large effect sizes, the overall bias introduced by name-based sampling (NBS) is small as long as procedures with small false-negative rates are employed.

Keywords: Hard-to-Reach populations; sampling; undercoverage; onomastic sampling


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About the article

Received: 2013-02-01

Accepted: 2013-11-01

Published Online: 2014-05-08

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Journal of Official Statistics, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 231–249, ISSN (Online) 2001-7367, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0015.

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© by Rainer Schnell . This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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