New publication by SPP’s Kahanec and Fabo: Web-based surveys can inform research and policy

April 18, 2018

New research article by SPP professor and acting head Martin Kahanec and former visiting research fellow Brian Fabo, Can a voluntary web survey be useful beyond explorative research? published in the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

Some researchers reject non-random samples, others make effort to explore and exploit the opportunities new, cost-effective methods of data collection offer. This paper co-authored with Brian Fabo (Senior Researcher at the National Bank of Slovakia and former CEU Visiting Research Fellow) provides some support for the latter approach by showing that it may be possible to analyze some relationships between socio-economic variables using web-based surveys consistently. In such cases cost-effective web-based surveys can be used to inform policy decisions in timely fashion. 

Abstract

This paper, provides some support for the latter approach by showing that it may be possible to analyze some relationships between socio-economic variables using web-based surveys consistently. In such cases cost-effective web-based surveys can be used to inform policy decisions in timely fashion. Using 10 years of Dutch data, we show that there exists an established segment of predominantly junior workers from which the respondents of the WageIndicator survey are disproportionally drawn. In consequence, the composition of WageIndicator sample tends to retain key characteristics over the years, even though it lacks a probabilistic sampling frame. We show that the estimates produced on the basis of an extended Mincerian earnings model using the two data sources are qualitatively similar. In line with much of the literature, however, the two sets of estimates do not pass the formal statistical test of equality. Nonetheless, when we examine only the subsample of junior workers, the statistical testing does not detect a statistically significant difference between the two datasets in many instances. To our knowledge, ours is the first paper showing such statistical evidence for comparability of a web survey based with a widely used representative data source.

Martin Kahanec, Brian Fabo (2018) Can a voluntary web survey be useful beyond explorative research? In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

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