Publications

Efficient Use of Commercial Lists in U.S. Household Sampling

Sampling households using commercial lists has the potential to reduce costs and efficiently identify some subgroups for which target sample sizes are desired. However, the information on the lists for demographics like age is usually incomplete and inaccurate. We demonstrate that this inexact information can still be used to improve the efficiency with which some, but not all, demographic subgroups can be located during sampling. The article also illustrates the use of nonlinear programming as a means for finding sample allocations that are subject to a variety of practical constraints. A commercial address list and data from the National Survey of Family Growth and the Health and Retirement Study are used to illustrate the calculation of allocations to strata of housing units defined by information on the list.