1504.0 - Methodological News, Dec 2013  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2013   
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Monitoring the Impact of Web Form Introduction in the Monthly Population Survey

As part of the strategy for implementing web-based data collection (also known as web forms) for the Monthly Population Survey (MPS), a controlled experiment was run on the incoming sample to detect any major impacts of the process change on key Labour Force estimates. For the households brought into the MPS sample between May and September 2013, 50% were given the option to complete the MPS via web form while the remainder were only offered the traditional process of personal/telephone interview.

Each month until April 2014 (when the last of these split samples completes its final month of MPS), estimates of the differences in labour force status between the two groups are produced and compared. These estimates are produced via a composite estimator, which includes all data collected from the split samples since the beginning of the experiment; this gives an estimate that makes maximum use of the available data, and helps control for seasonal and time-in-survey effects. The method is based on that used previously to measure the impact of introducing telephone interviewing in 1996-97, and computer-assisted interviewing in 2003-04.

The impact measurement strategy aims to measure the net impact of introducing web forms to the collection, including modal effects, effects related to the offer of a web form option to respondents, and changes to existing procedures that may affect respondents in all modes; other methods to estimate the specific modal effect of web forms are currently being investigated.

Further Information
For more information, please contact Chris Mann, (02 6252 6758, chris.mann@abs.gov.au) or Anna Poskitt, (02 6252 5668, anna.poskitt@abs.gov.au).