English title: Discussion

Author(s): Geert Loosveldt -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2013


The article by Michael Brick about unit nonresponse and weighting adjustments presents an excellent overview of the concepts, trends, and strategies in unit nonresponse research. This overview clearly demonstrates that the conceptual and analytical framework of nonresponse research is highly evolved and has been much improved. The author mention that we have a better understanding of the correlates of nonresponse and the methods to reduce nonresponse due to noncontact. However, as the title suggests, it is a critical review. Perhaps as a result, the general undertone is rather pessimistic. According to the author, response rates are falling in most countries and most procedures to reduce nonresponse are not effective. As a consequence, weighting adjustment procedures are important, but the author state that we do not have a sufficiently thorough understanding of the impact of these procedures on the reduction of nonresponse bias. In the discussion Brick concludes that “even after decades of research on nonresponse we remain woefully ignorant of the causes of nonresponse at a profound level” and “Perhaps the time is ripe for new approaches to the vexing and important questions of why people do and do not respond to surveys.” As always, a discussion involving statements such as these is an invitation to formulate some related considerations, comments, and suggestions. The starting point is a few observations about the trend in nonresponse rates in the European Social Survey (ESS).

Volume: 29

Issue: 3

From page no: 367

To page no: 370

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.2478/JOS-2013-0030

Journal: Journal of Official Statistics

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