Estimation of response propensities and R-indicators using population-level information

22/12/2016 10:00
This paper proposes a new method for estimating R-indicators that employ population contingency tables or population frequency counts.
In recent years, there has been a strong interest in indirect measures of non-response bias in surveys or other forms of data collection. This interest originates from gradually decreasing propensities to respond to surveys parallel to pressures on survey budgets. These developments led to a growing focus on the representativeness or balance of the responding sample units with respect to relevant auxiliary variables. One example of a measure is the representativeness indicator, or R-indicator. The R-indicator is based on the design-weighted sample variation of estimated response propensities. It pre-supposes linked auxiliary data. One of the criticisms to the indicator is that it cannot be used in settings where auxiliary information is available only at the population level. In this paper, we propose a new method for estimating response propensities that does not need auxiliary information for non-respondents to the survey and is based on population auxiliary information. These population-based response propensities can then be used to develop R-indicators that employ population contingency tables or population frequency counts. We discuss the statistical properties of the indicators, and evaluate their performance using an evaluation study based on real census data and an application from the Dutch Health Survey.