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Do Economic and Demographic Characteristics Differ between Web and Mail Respondents to the 2005 Census of Agriculture Content Test? By Nancy J. Dickey.

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Presentation on theme: "Do Economic and Demographic Characteristics Differ between Web and Mail Respondents to the 2005 Census of Agriculture Content Test? By Nancy J. Dickey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do Economic and Demographic Characteristics Differ between Web and Mail Respondents to the 2005 Census of Agriculture Content Test? By Nancy J. Dickey Zulma T. Riberas

2 National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) Census of Agriculture Census is conducted every 5 years Prior to the census a content test is conducted

3 Why conduct a Census Content Test? To evaluate: Format and design of the instrument New content items Changes to question wording Procedural changes

4 Why conduct a Census Content Test? Results are used to identify modifications to incorporate into the final design of the data collection tool

5 What’s New for Census 2007 NASS was required to provide respondents the option of completing the census on the Web Two paper versions of the questionnaire, a long form of 24 pages and a short form of 12 pages, and one Web version Short form used a open table format to collect data. Respondents wrote in their crops and/or livestock information

6 SAMPLE 27,900 cases – 14,995 long form – 12,905 short form

7 Additional Sample An additional sample of 200 cases received a pre-survey letter via mail encouraging them to complete the survey on the Web These 200 were selected from a population of respondents who had previously reported an agricultural survey using a Web instrument

8 Survey Details Initial mail-out was on December 30, 2005 Postcard/reminder was sent on January 17, 2006 Non-response replacement questionnaire was sent to all non-respondents on February 9, 2006

9 Survey Details - Continued Forms were checked-in, scanned for image, and data were keyed from the electronic image Records were not edited for consistency or missing data There was only one Web instrument which was similar in content and format to the long form paper version

10 Survey Results 618 respondents submitted their responses using the Web instrument 12,596 respondents submitted their responses using the mail version of the instrument From the sample of 200, 61 responded via Web and 91 responded via mail

11 So, based on the 2005 Census of Agriculture Content Test did Mail Respondents differ from Web Respondents economically or demographically?

12 Size of Farm Average size of the farm for Web respondents was 1,157 acres. The median size was 85 acres Average size of the farm for mail respondents was 804 acres. The median size was 110 acres

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14 Have Internet access? Respondents were asked the following question: At any time during 2005, did this operation have Internet access? ___ YES ___ NO

15 Have Internet access

16 Use of a Computer for the Farm Business ? Respondents were asked the following question: At any time during 2005, did this operation use a computer for the farm business? ___ YES ___ NO

17 Use of a Computer for the Farm Business

18 Age of the Principal Operator Average age of Web respondents is 52 years Average age of Mail respondents is 58 years

19 Age of Operator

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21 Other Economic and Demographic Comparisons Total Household Income Type of Organization Sex of Principal Operator Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino Origin

22 Observations There was no relationship between household income, type of organization, sex of principal operator, and whether the respondent was of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin and the mode of data collection

23 Missing Data There was a large amount of missing data for some of the items Early in the data collection process it was discovered that some items in the web instrument were not being captured properly These problems were fixed as they were discovered This was the first use of the Web instrument

24 Missing Data – Type of Organization percent of Web respondents did not answer this question 8.58 percent of mail respondents did not answer this question Question was at the end of the form Respondents may have quit the Web survey before reaching this question

25 Internet Access For Web respondents, 85.76% did not answer this question For Mail respondents, 6.80% did not respond Finding is inconsistent since Web respondents were filling the form out on the Web

26 What went wrong? Respondent was asked if the operation had access to the internet. Maybe the operator has home internet access but not specifically for the farm. So it could be the wording of the questionnaire

27 Summary Analysis was based on the hypothesis that Web respondents differ from mail respondents. We expected Web respondents to be younger, male, and less racially diverse than mail respondents. We expected Web respondents to have larger operations, and greater income.

28 What now? Our findings indicate that age, race, size of farm operation, internet access, and computer use for farm business seem to have a relationship to the mode of data collection chosen by the respondent More research is needed to determine the nature of the relationship between these variables

29 It was disturbing to notice the high item non- response These findings stress the importance of testing the Web instrument before respondents are given the opportunity to use it

30 2007 Census of Agriculture The same analysis will be done using data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture Knowing if certain characteristics of the population will report via the Web can result in cost savings, better data quality, and increased survey efficiency

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