Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2021-03
High frequency online data collection in an annual household panel study: some evidence on bias prevention and bias adjustment
05 Mar 2021
Understanding Society is the UK’s largest household panel survey. From April 2020, Understanding Society participants were invited to partake in a series of web surveys (the Understanding Society COVID-19 Study) designed to capture higher frequency information during the pandemic. To prevent bias, the COVID-19 Study invites the full range of Understanding Society participants – both those who regularly use the internet and those who do not – to take part and, furthermore, periodically invites a subset of non-respondents to a telephone follow-up. To adjust for bias, a weighting strategy is implemented that takes advantage of the rich background information available from past annual interviews. We examine the efficacy of these bias reduction and bias adjustment measures. We find that both the telephone follow-ups and weighting help to reduce bias, but that inviting those who do not regularly use the internet to the web survey appears to be of little benefit.