Survey Cost Workshop

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 9:00am to Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 3:30pm

The principal goal of this workshop is to articulate a research agenda for survey cost methodology and modeling, including

In-process modeling (or responsive/adaptive design). How should survey administrators respond during conduct of a survey to changes in budget or scope, or information about response rates)?

Leveraging multiple data collections, in particular, by tradeoffs between cost and statistical modeling. Specific issues include designing targeted (small, in terms of sample size or data scale) data collections that leverage large-scale data collections and designing the large-scale data collections so that they can be leveraged.

Tools for principled tradeoffs between cost and quality. A central issue is that, whether made a priori or in-process, such tradeoffs must be made on the basis of predicted cost and predicted quality. Components of the problem include characterizing uncertainties and dependences and use of decision theory and optimization.

One product of such research might be a broadly applicable software tool (or a set of software tools) to model surveys from design through execution.

The workshop is meant to engage researchers not only from statistics, but also from operations research (optimization, simulation), computer science, economics and decision theory.

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Larry Cox (NCHS), John Eltinge (BLS), Graham Kalton (Westat), Alan Karr (NISS; chair), Dan Kasprzyk (MPR), Myron Katzoff (NCHS), Partha Lahiri (University of Maryland), Judy Lessler (Chatham Research Consultancy), Marilyn Seastrom (NCES), Al Tupek (Census), Doug Williams

Presentations: Part I

  • Alan Karr, Introduction
  • John Eltinge, Tutorial 1: Survey Basics, Including Costs
  • David Banks, Tutorial 2: Simulation and Decision Theory - Future Topics in Survey Methodology


Presentations: Part 2

  • Robert Groves, Survey Budgets, Cost Models, and Responsive Design Surveys


Presentations: Part 3

  • Judith Lessler, Leveraging Existing Data
  • Alan Karr, Principled Cost-Quality Tradeoffs


Survey Cost: Workshop Report and White Paper


National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, DC
United States