The More Similar, the Better?

How (Mis)Match Between Respondents and Interviewers Affects Item Nonresponse and Data Quality in Survey Situations

  • Felix Bittmann Otto-Friedrich-Universit├Ąt Bamberg
Keywords: Item nonresponse, Interviewer characteristics, Sociodemographic matching


Previous research shows that sociodemographic (mis)matches between respondents and interviewers can affect unit and item nonresponse in survey situations. The current paper attempts to deepen the understanding of these findings and investigates the effect of matching with regard to gender and age on item nonresponse, reluctance to answer items and the probability that a third person is interfering with the interview. Using multilevel European Social Survey data from 23 countries, it is demonstrated that some constellations of matching improve data quality significantly. The results corroborate and extend previous findings and underline that sociodemographic matching has the potential to enhance data quality in face to face situations.
How to Cite
Bittmann, F. (2020). The More Similar, the Better?. Survey Research Methods, 14(3), 301-323.