Skip to content

Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2016-05

The advantage and disadvantage of implicitly stratified sampling


Publication date

22 Aug 2016


Explicit stratified sampling (ESS) and implicit stratified sampling (ISS) are alternative
methods for controlling the distribution of a survey sample, thereby potentially improving
the precision of survey estimates. With ESS, unbiased estimation of standard errors is
possible, whereas with ISS it is not. Instead, usual practice is to invoke an approximation
that tends to result in systematic over-estimation. This can be perceived as a disadvantage
of ISS. However, this article demonstrates that true standard errors are smaller with ISS
and argues that this advantage may be more important than the ability to obtain unbiased
estimates of the standard errors.

Paper download  

Related publications

  1. The advantage and disadvantage of implicitly stratified sampling

    Peter Lynn


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest