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Nonresponse bias can always arise when participants in a survey systematically differ from non-participants. This can be the case, for example, if certain social groups more often do not receive the invitation to participate/ cannot be contacted, more often decide not to participate or are unable to participate (e.g. because they lack the technical equipment necessary to participate). If the reasons for non-participation are associated with the target variables of the survey, it is not possible to reliably infer the population from the responses. The non-response bias analysis offers a method to assess the bias caused by non-response.

We advise on the possibilities of non-response bias analysis and give recommendations for the type of analysis for a specific question. We distinguish between measures of nonresponse bias at the level of individual survey questions (e.g. benchmark comparisons and subgroup analysis) and measures at the survey level (e.g. R-indicators).  We give recommendations for dealing with non-response bias and show possible limitations of analysing surveys under non-response bias. We also discuss the possibility of correcting for non-response bias.

Consultation Fee

There is an expense allowance of 80 euros per hour for our expertise. We will be happy to make you an offer.

Articles in the GESIS Survey Guidelines:

Sampling in Theory