TABLE 2 Alternative Sample Frame Designs

TABLE 2 Alternative Sample Frame Designs

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  Area frame List frame Retired sample (area or list) Dual frames
Description Frame consists of smaller geographical units (e.g., county or county clusters) of the country; involves a multi-stage approach to selecting sample units, the first being selected areas A frame compiled from a listing of the target population unit (typically people, households, or establishments) Sample frame constructed or borrowed from rotated out or "retired" frames (typically area or list sample frames) Utilization of more than one frame (e.g., random-digit dial and area)
Advantages . Often provides more complete coverage of the target population
. Efficiencies in (in-person) interviewing because of clustered design
. Often provides more complete coverage of the target population (assuming lists are up-to-date)
. List often contains auxiliary information that can be used for sampling or data-collection purposes
. More cost-effective sample frame, because it has already been listed/compiled
. Provides already collected unit information that can be used for sampling and data-collection purposes
. Can provide for more cost-effective survey design
. Can help to address coverage issues
Disadvantages . Data-collection costs are typically much more expensive, because sampled households cannot always be interviewed by less expensive data-collection modes, e.g., by mail or telephone.
. Precision of resulting survey estimates is often negatively impacted because of clustered (areas) sample design
. Cost and resource limitations sometimes make this option unaffordable
. Appropriate, accurate lists do not always exist (or are not accessible)
. Effect of respondent burden and fatigue resulting from prior survey participation
. Coverage can become an issue if the list is not updated or new growth in the area is not accounted for
. Adds complexity to sampling, weighting and estimation
. Can increase overall data-collection costs (especially when combining with area frame)
Examples . Current Population Survey (Bureau of Labor Statistics-BLS) . American Community Survey (Census Bureau) . 1995 American Travel Survey
. 2003 American Time Use Survey (BLS)
. National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) (Urban Institute)