1. bookVolume 37 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2001-7367
First Published
01 Oct 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Trends in Establishment Survey Nonresponse Rates and Nonresponse Bias: Evidence from the 2001-2017 IAB Establishment Panel

Published Online: 26 Dec 2021
Page range: 931 - 953
Received: 01 Sep 2020
Accepted: 01 Mar 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2001-7367
First Published
01 Oct 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Evidence from the household survey literature shows a declining response rate trend in recent decades, but whether a similar trend exists for voluntary establishment surveys is an understudied issue. This article examines trends in nonresponse rates and nonresponse bias over a period of 17 years in the annual cross-sectional refreshment samples of the IAB Establishment Panel in Germany. In addition, rich administrative data about the establishment and employee composition are used to examine changes in nonresponse bias and its two main components, refusal and noncontact, over time. Our findings show that response rates dropped by nearly a third: from 50.2% in 2001 to 34.5% in 2017. Simultaneously, nonresponse bias increased over this period, which was mainly driven by increasing refusal bias whereas noncontact bias fluctuated relatively evenly over the same period. Nonresponse biases for individual establishment and employee characteristics did not show a distinct pattern over time with few exceptions. Notably, larger establishments participated less frequently than smaller establishments over the entire period. This implies that survey organizations may need to put more effort into recruiting larger establishments to counteract nonresponse bias.

Keywords

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