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Washington, D.C. – UNC Center of Community Capital research partner Andy Peytchev of RTI International presented early findings on a joint survey design and bias today (Oct. 25) to staff of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study, “Anticipatory Survey Design: Reduction of Non-response Bias through Bias Prediction Models,” is a National Institutes of Health-funded project to examine whether monetary incentives help reduce the level of non-responsiveness among survey participants during data collection. Center for Community Capital research director Mark Lindblad and senior research economist Sarah Riley are collaborating on the research. The ongoing survey methodology experiment is being conducted as part of the center’s 2011 Community Advantage Panel Survey, a long-term study funded by the Ford Foundation on the experience of nearly 50,000 affordable mortgage borrowers.

Understanding the impact of such survey incentives is important information for researchers as people over the years have become less willing to complete surveys. As a result, response rates in major surveys have steadily declined. Low response rates can make it more difficult for researchers to draw valid inferences if the individuals who are not interviewed differ systematically from those who are interviewed.

Recent survey methodology research seeks to find methods for identifying which respondents are most likely to cause bias in the estimates obtained from key survey measures and increasing the participation rate among such respondents.

View Peytchev’s presentation.

The UNC Center for Community Capital is the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that helps policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.

Topics(s): Other, Research Design, Testimony
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