Undercoverage and Nonresponse in a List-sampled Telephone Election Survey


  • Oliver Lipps Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS)
  • Nicolas Pekari
  • Caroline Roberts




For landline telephone surveys in particular, undercoverage has been a growing problem. However, research regarding the relative contributions of socio-demographic bias and other composition effects is scarce. We propose to address this issue by analyzing an election survey which used a sample from a register-based sampling frame containing basic socio-demographic information and to which telephone numbers were subsequently matched. With respect to socio-demographic representation of the final sample, we find that difficult to match groups are also difficult to contact, while those who cooperate tend to have different characteristics. We find bias due to undercoverage to be of greater magnitude than noncontact bias, while noncooperation falls between the two. As for substantive variables, both additional efforts to match missing telephone numbers and the construction of better weights are successful in closing the gap between survey estimates of voting behavior and true values from the election results.




How to Cite

Lipps, O., Pekari, N., & Roberts, C. (2015). Undercoverage and Nonresponse in a List-sampled Telephone Election Survey. Survey Research Methods, 9(2), 71–82. https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2015.v9i2.6139