Selection bias in Web surveys and the use of propensity scores

M. Schonlau, A.H.O. van Soest, A. Kapteyn, M. Couper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Web surveys are a popular survey mode, but the subpopulation with Internet access may not represent the population of interest. The authors investigate whether adjusting using weights or matching on a small set of variables makes the distributions of target variables representative of the population. This application has a rich sampling design; the Internet sample is part of an existing probability sample, the Health and Retirement Study, that is representative of the U.S. population aged 50 and older. For the dichotomous variables investigated, the adjustment helps. On average, the sample means in the Internet access sample differ by 6.5 percent before and 3.7 percent after adjustment. Still, a large number of adjusted estimates remain significantly different from their target estimates based on the complete sample. This casts doubt on the common procedure to use only a few variables to correct for the selectivity of convenience samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-318
JournalSociological Methods and Research
Volume37
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

trend
Internet
retirement
health

Cite this

Schonlau, M. ; van Soest, A.H.O. ; Kapteyn, A. ; Couper, M. / Selection bias in Web surveys and the use of propensity scores. In: Sociological Methods and Research. 2009 ; Vol. 37, No. 3. pp. 291-318.
@article{a279b3f2a7db4422a85969d7b6e15e97,
title = "Selection bias in Web surveys and the use of propensity scores",
abstract = "Web surveys are a popular survey mode, but the subpopulation with Internet access may not represent the population of interest. The authors investigate whether adjusting using weights or matching on a small set of variables makes the distributions of target variables representative of the population. This application has a rich sampling design; the Internet sample is part of an existing probability sample, the Health and Retirement Study, that is representative of the U.S. population aged 50 and older. For the dichotomous variables investigated, the adjustment helps. On average, the sample means in the Internet access sample differ by 6.5 percent before and 3.7 percent after adjustment. Still, a large number of adjusted estimates remain significantly different from their target estimates based on the complete sample. This casts doubt on the common procedure to use only a few variables to correct for the selectivity of convenience samples.",
author = "M. Schonlau and {van Soest}, A.H.O. and A. Kapteyn and M. Couper",
year = "2009",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "291--318",
journal = "Sociological Methods and Research",
issn = "0049-1241",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "3",

}

Schonlau, M, van Soest, AHO, Kapteyn, A & Couper, M 2009, 'Selection bias in Web surveys and the use of propensity scores', Sociological Methods and Research, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 291-318.

Selection bias in Web surveys and the use of propensity scores. / Schonlau, M.; van Soest, A.H.O.; Kapteyn, A.; Couper, M.

In: Sociological Methods and Research, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2009, p. 291-318.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Selection bias in Web surveys and the use of propensity scores

AU - Schonlau, M.

AU - van Soest, A.H.O.

AU - Kapteyn, A.

AU - Couper, M.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Web surveys are a popular survey mode, but the subpopulation with Internet access may not represent the population of interest. The authors investigate whether adjusting using weights or matching on a small set of variables makes the distributions of target variables representative of the population. This application has a rich sampling design; the Internet sample is part of an existing probability sample, the Health and Retirement Study, that is representative of the U.S. population aged 50 and older. For the dichotomous variables investigated, the adjustment helps. On average, the sample means in the Internet access sample differ by 6.5 percent before and 3.7 percent after adjustment. Still, a large number of adjusted estimates remain significantly different from their target estimates based on the complete sample. This casts doubt on the common procedure to use only a few variables to correct for the selectivity of convenience samples.

AB - Web surveys are a popular survey mode, but the subpopulation with Internet access may not represent the population of interest. The authors investigate whether adjusting using weights or matching on a small set of variables makes the distributions of target variables representative of the population. This application has a rich sampling design; the Internet sample is part of an existing probability sample, the Health and Retirement Study, that is representative of the U.S. population aged 50 and older. For the dichotomous variables investigated, the adjustment helps. On average, the sample means in the Internet access sample differ by 6.5 percent before and 3.7 percent after adjustment. Still, a large number of adjusted estimates remain significantly different from their target estimates based on the complete sample. This casts doubt on the common procedure to use only a few variables to correct for the selectivity of convenience samples.

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 291

EP - 318

JO - Sociological Methods and Research

JF - Sociological Methods and Research

SN - 0049-1241

IS - 3

ER -