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Weighting Strategies for Combining Data from Dual-Frame Telephone Surveys: Emerging Evidence from Australia

Bernard Baffour
  • The University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research, Building 39A Campbell Road St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, 4067, Australia.
  • Email:
/ Michele Haynes
  • The University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research, Building 39A Campbell Road St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, 4067, Australia.
  • Email:
/ Mark Western
  • The University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research, Building 39A Campbell Road St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, 4067, Australia.
  • Email:
/ Darren Pennay
  • Australian National University - Australian Centre for Applied Social Research Methods, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
  • The Social Research Centre - Research Methodology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
  • Email:
/ Sebastian Misson
  • The Social Research Centre - Research Methodology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
  • Email:
/ Arturo Martinez
  • The University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research, Building 39A Campbell Road St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, 4067, Australia.
  • Email:
Published Online: 2016-09-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jos-2016-0029

Abstract

Until quite recently, telephone surveys have typically relied on landline telephone numbers. However, with the increasing popularity and affordability of mobile phones, there has been a surge in households that do not have landline connections. Additionally, there has been a decline in the response rates and population coverage of landline telephone surveys, creating a challenge to collecting representative social data. Dual-frame telephone surveys that use both landline and mobile phone sampling frames can overcome the incompleteness of landline-only telephone sampling. However, surveying mobile phone users introduces new complexities in sampling, nonresponse measurement and statistical weighting. This article examines these issues and illustrates the consequences of failing to include mobile-phone-only users in telephone surveys using data from Australia. Results show that there are significant differences in estimates of populations’ characteristics when using information solely from the landline or mobile telephone sample. These biases in the population estimates are significantly reduced when data from the mobile and landline samples are combined and appropriate dual-frame survey estimators are used. The optimal choice of a dual-frame estimation strategy depends on the availability of good-quality information that can account for the differential patterns of nonresponse by frame.

Keywords: Dual-frame telephone surveys; mobile phone sampling; nonresponse; weighting

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About the article

Received: 2015-01-01

Revised: 2015-12-01

Accepted: 2016-01-01

Published Online: 2016-09-23

Published in Print: 2016-09-01


Citation Information: Journal of Official Statistics, ISSN (Online) 2001-7367, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jos-2016-0029. Export Citation

© 2016 Bernard Baffour et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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