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ISER Working Paper Series 2009-21

Nonresponse bias adjustments: what can process data contribute?


Publication date

27 Jul 2009


To minimise nonresponse bias most large-scale social surveys undertake nonresponse
weighting. Traditional nonresponse weights adjust for demographic information only.
This paper assesses the effect and added value of weights based on fieldwork process
data in the European Social Survey (ESS). The reduction of relative nonresponse bias
in estimates of political activism, trust, happiness and human values was examined.
The effects of process, frame and post-stratification weights, as well as of weights
combining several data sources, were examined. The findings demonstrate that
process weights add explanatory power to nonresponse bias adjustments. Combined
demographic and process weights were most successful at removing nonresponse


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