Joint Program in Survey Methodology
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University of Maryland
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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2006||Non-response in the American Time Use Survey: Who Is Missing from the Data and How Much Does It Matter?|
with Katharine G. Abraham, Suzanne M. Bianchi: t0328
This paper examines non-response in a large government survey. The response rate for the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) has been below 60 percent for the first two years of its existence, raising questions about whether the results can be generalized to the target population. The paper begins with an analysis of the types of non-response encountered in the ATUS. We find that non-contact accounts for roughly 60 percent of ATUS non-response, with refusals accounting for roughly 40 percent. Next, we examine two hypotheses about the causes of this non-response. We find little support for the hypothesis that busy people are less likely to respond to the ATUS, but considerable support for the hypothesis that people who are weakly integrated into their communities are less likely to respond,...