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The Effects of Questionnaire Design Changes on Asset Income Amount Nonresponse in Waves 1 and 2 of the 2004 SIPP Panel

Jeffrey C. Moore

KEY WORDS: dependent interviewing, income amount item nonresponse, interviewer behavior, questionnaire design

ABSTRACT

Three new procedures were introduced in the 2004 panel SIPP questionnaire in an attempt to reduce asset income amount nonresponse: (1) a flexible approach to the reporting period, which allows respondents to choose the option most convenient for them; (2) an expanded use of closed-ended “range” questions for use as follow-up probes in the event of an initial nonresponse; and (3) the capability to use dependent interviewing procedures for nonresponse follow-up after wave 1. This report summarizes the impact of the new procedures on nonresponse to asset income amount items in waves 1 and 2 of the 2004 SIPP panel, through a comparison with the same estimates from the preceding (2001) SIPP panel. Major findings are as follows:

     (1)   The introduction of flexible reporting period options in 2004 seems to have had little beneficial impact on item nonresponse for asset income amounts.

     (2)   Extending the “range”-type follow-ups to cover all assets resulted in major nonresponse benefits. Asset types which acquired the range follow-ups for the first time in 2004 showed substantial declines in final wave 1 item nonresponse in 2004 compared to 2001.

     (3)   The dependent nonresponse follow-up option added in 2004 wave 2 also had a major positive impact on final nonresponse. On the negative side, however, is evidence of improper use of the dependent follow-up procedures by SIPP interviewers, resulting in very high rates of initial nonresponse.

CITATION:

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: January 4, 2006
Last revised: January 4, 2006


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or chad.eric.russell@census.gov) |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010