Cost-Quality Trade-offs in Web Surveys: Finding the Right Balance
1Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Germany; 2University of Mannheim, Germany
Web surveys continue to be a pervasive mode of data collection in the social sciences. Not only are web surveys considered to be cost-effective, they also offer many attractive measurement capabilities that allow for a rich and detailed measures to be collected. However, there is an ongoing debate about whether and when web surveys produce reliable estimates of a given target population, and whether more expensive web survey methods yield more reliable results compared to cheaper ones.
In this talk, I will discuss this debate and highlight empirical examples of cost-quality trade-offs that web surveys face. In addition, I will point to opportunities where mixing cheaper and more expensive web survey methods might lead to improved data quality at a reduced cost.
Joseph Sakshaug is acting Head of the Statistical Methods Research Department and Head of the Data Collection and Data Integration Unit at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), and Honorary Full Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim. Previously, he was Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Social Statistics at the University of Manchester and Assistant Professor (Junior Professor) of Statistics and Social Science Methodology at the University of Mannheim. He received his MS and PhD in Survey Methodology from the University of Michigan and BA in Mathematics from the University of Washington. From 2011-2013 he was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the IAB and Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Department of Statistics. His research focuses on survey design and analysis, combining multiple data sources, and empirical research methods.