Total Survey Error and Data Quality I

Fall 2019



Completion of Applied Sampling (SURV 625)


This course reviews the total error structure of sample survey data, reviewing current research findings on the magnitudes of different error sources, design features that affect their magnitudes, and interrelationships among the errors. Coverage, nonresponse, sampling, measurement, and postsurvey processing errors are treated. For each error source reviewed, social science theories about its causes are first presented. Next statistical models estimating the error source are described. Whenever possible empirical studies from the survey methodological literature are reviewed in order to illustrate the relative magnitudes of error in different designs. Emphasis will be placed on aspects of the survey design necessary to estimate different error sources. Relationships among the different error sources will be presented to show how attempts to control one source may increase another source. Attempts to model total survey error will be presented. Students in the class will identify one research project, preferably one connected to their current work, that offers an opportunity for empirical investigation of one or more error sources. An analysis paper presenting the findings of the project will be submitted at the end of the course.