Internet Coverage and Coverage Bias in Europe: Developments Across Countries and Over Time

Open access

Abstract

To estimate the coverage error for web surveys in Europe over time, we analyzed data from the Eurobarometer. The Eurobarometer collects data for the European Community across member and applicant states. Since 2005, the Eurobarometer has contained a straightforward question on Internet access. We compared respondents with and without Internet access and estimated coverage bias for demographic variables (sex, age, length of education) and sociopolitical variables (left-right position on a political scale, life satisfaction). Countries in Europe do differ in Internet penetration and resulting coverage bias. Over time, Internet penetration dramatically increases and coverage bias decreases, but the rate of change differs across countries. In addition, the countries’ development significantly affects the pace of these changes.

Bethlehem, J. and Biffignandi, S. (2012). Handbook of Web Surveys. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Bethlehem, J., Cobben, F., and Schouten, B. (2011). Handbook of Nonresponse in Household Surveys. New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

Biemer, P.P. and Lyberg, L.E. (2003). Introduction to Survey Quality. New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

Blyth, B. (2008). Mixed-Mode: The Only “Fitness” Regime? International Journal of Market Research, 50, 241-266.

Bosnjak, M., Forsman, G., Isaksson, A., Lozar Manfreda, K., Schonlau, M., and Tuten, T. (2006). Preface to JOS Special Issue onWeb Surveys. Journal of Official Statistics, 22, iii.

Busse, B. and Fuchs, M. (2012). The Components of Landline Telephone Survey Coverage Bias. The Relative Importance of No-Phone and Mobile-Only Populations. Quality and Quantity, 46, 1209-1225. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11135-011-9431-3

Callegaro, M. (2010). Do You Know Which Device Your Respondent Has Used to Take Your Online Survey? Survey Practice, December: www.surveypractice.org. Available at http://surveypractice.org/2010/12/08/device-respondent-has-used/ (accessed August 2012).

Cook, C., Heath, F., and Thompson, R.L. (2000). A Meta-Analysis of Response Rates in Web- and Internet-Based Surveys. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60, 821-836. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1177/00131640021970934

Couper, M.P. (2000). Web Surveys: A Review of Issues and Approaches. Public Opinion Quarterly, 64, 464-494. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1086/318641

Couper, M.P. (2008). Designing Effective Web Surveys. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Couper, M.P., Kapteyn, A., Schonlau, M., and Winter, J. (2007). Noncoverage and Nonresponse in an Internet Survey. Social Science Research, 36, 131-148. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2005.10.002

De Leeuw, E.D. (2008). Choosing the Method of Data Collection. International Handbook of Survey Methodology, E.D. de Leeuw, J.J. Hox, and D.A. Dillman (eds). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, European Association of Methodology (EAM) Methodology Series.

De Leeuw, E.D. and De Heer, W. (2002). Trends in Household Survey Nonresponse: A Longitudinal and International Comparison. In Survey Nonresponse, R.M. Groves, D.A. Dillman, J.L. Eltinge, and R.J.A. Little (eds). New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

De Leeuw, E.D. and Hox, J.J. (2011). Internet Surveys as Part of a Mixed Mode Design. Social Research and the Internet. In Advances in Applied Methods and New Research Strategies, M. Das, P. Ester, and L. Kaczmirek (eds). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, European Association of Methodology (EAM) Methodology Series.

Dillman, D.A., Smyth, J.D., and Christian, L.M. (2009). Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys; The Tailored Design Method. New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

Fuchs, M. and Busse, B. (2009). The Coverage Bias of Mobile Web Surveys Across European Countries. International Journal of Internet Science, 4, 21-33. Available at: http://www.ijis.net/ijis4_1/ijis4_1_fuchs_pre.html (accessed July 2012).

GESIS, Eurobarometer Survey Series (2013). Available at: http://www.gesis.org/ eurobarometer-data-service/survey-series (accessed July 2013).

Groves, R.M. (1989). Survey Errors and Survey Costs. New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

Groves, R.M. and Couper, M.P. (1998). Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys. New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

Groves, R.M. and Peytcheva, E. (2008). The Impact of Nonresponse Rates on Nonresponse Bias - A Meta-Analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 167-189. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfn011

Groves, R.M., Fowler, F.J., Couper, M.P., Lepkowski, J.M., Singer, E., and Tourangeau, R. (2009). Survey Methodology. New York: Wiley, Wiley Series in Survey Methodology.

Internet World Stats. (2013). Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm (accessed June 2013).

Kreuter, F., Presser, S., and Tourangeau, R. (2008). Social Desirability Bias in CATI, IVR, and Web Surveys. The Effect of Mode and Question Sensitivity. Public Opinion Quarterly, 72(5), 847-865. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfn063

Lessler, J.T. and Kalsbeek, W.D. (1992). Nonsampling Error in Surveys. New York: Wiley.

Link, M.W., and Mokdad, A.H. (2005). Effects of Survey Mode on Self-Reports of Adult Alcohol Consumption: A Comparison of Mail, Web, and Telephone Approaches. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, March 2005, 239-245.

Little, R.J.A. and Rubin, D.B. (2002). Statistical Analysis with Missing Data. New York: Wiley.

Lohr, S.L. (2008). Coverage and Sampling. In International Handbook of Survey Methodology, E.D. de Leeuw, J.J. Hox, and D.A. Dillman (eds). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, European Association of Methodology (EAM) Methodology Series.

Lozar Manfreda, K., Bosnjak, M., Berzelak, J., Haas, I., and Vehovar, V. (2008). Web Surveys versus Other Survey Modes - A Meta-Analysis Comparing Response Rates. International Journal of Marketing Research, 50, 79-104.

Mohorko, A., De Leeuw, E., and Hox, J. (2011). Internet Coverage and Coverage Bias in Countries Across Europe and over Time: Background, Methods, Question Wording and Bias Tables. Available at: www.joophox.net (accessed June 2013).

Mohorko, A., De Leeuw, E., and Hox, J. (2013). Coverage Bias in European Telephone Surveys: Developments of Landline and Mobile Phone Coverage across Countries and over Time. Survey Methods: Insights from the Field. Available at: http://surveyinsights. org/?p ¼ 828 (accessed February 2013).

Moschner, M. (2012). GESIS, Weighting overview. Available at: http://www.gesis.org/ eurobarometer-data-service/survey-series/candidate-countries-eb/weighting-overview/ (accessed February 2013).

Rookey, B.D., Hanway, S., and Dillman, D.A. (2008) Does a Probability-based Household Panel Benefit from Assignment to Postal Response as an Alternative to Internet-only? Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 962-984. DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1093/ poq/nfn061

Smyth, J.D. and Pearson, J.E. (2011). Internet Survey Methods: A Review of Strengths, Weaknesses, and Innovations. In Advances in Applied Methods and New Research Strategies, M. Das, P. Ester, and L. Kaczmirek (eds). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, European Association of Methodology (EAM) Methodology Series.

Stoop, I., Billiet, J., Koch, A., and Fitzgerald, R. (2010). Improving Survey Response. Lessons Learned from the European Social Survey. New York: Wiley.

World Bank (2009). Available at: http://data.worldbank.org/ (accessed May 2011).

Journal of Official Statistics

The Journal of Statistics Sweden

Journal Information


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.662
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.113

CiteScore 2017: 0.74

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.158
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.860

Cited By

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 208 208 28
PDF Downloads 76 76 13