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What Is the Gain in a Probability-Based Online Panel of Providing Internet Access to Sampling Units Who Previously Had No Access?

Abstract : The Internet is considered an attractive option for survey data collection. However, some people do not have access to it. One way to address this coverage problem for general population surveys is to draw a probabilistic sample and provide Internet access to the selected units who do not have it and accept to participate. This is what the knowledge panel and the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences (LISS) panel do. However, a selection effect is still possible. Units without previous Internet access might refuse to participate in a web panel, even if provided with the necessary equipment. Thus, efforts to provide the necessary equipment may not be worth it. This article investigates the gain in terms of representativeness of offering the equipment to non-Internet units in a web panel using tablets: the French Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences panel. We find that the number of non-Internet units who accept to participate is low. This is not only due to the fact that their response rates are lower but also to the small proportion of non-Internet units in the French population. In addition, they participate less in given surveys once they become panelists. At the same time, they are very different from the Internet units. Therefore, even if because of the small number of units, the overall gain in representativeness is small, there are a few important variables (e.g., education) on which their inclusion yields a more representative sample of the general population.
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Submitted on : Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 9:32:02 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 12:17:49 PM

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Mélanie Revilla, Anne Cornilleau, Anne-Sophie Cousteaux, Stéphane Legleye, Pablo de Pedraza. What Is the Gain in a Probability-Based Online Panel of Providing Internet Access to Sampling Units Who Previously Had No Access?. Social Science Computer Review, SAGE Publications, 2016, 34 (4), pp.479 - 496. ⟨10.1177/0894439315590206⟩. ⟨hal-03399780⟩

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