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Publication Determining the Optimal Number of Interview Waves in a Panel Survey with Application to the NCVS: Evaluation and Recommendations

Marcus Berzofsky, DrPH, RTI International, Ivan Carrillo-Garcia, Statistics Canada

November 15, 2016    NCJ 249878

Presents the results of a study that evaluated the data quality and cost of changing the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) from the current longitudinal design in which household members are interviewed every 6 months for a total of 7 times over a 3.5-year period to designs in which respondents are interviewed 1, 3, 4, or 5 times. The research and development paper describes the development of simulations used to mimic different panel designs and outcomes. Simulation assumptions were constructed using NCVS data from 1999 to 2011, and included assumptions about sample sizes, costs, response rates, mode of interview, victimization rates, and standard errors. Based on the findings, the report offers a recommendation to reduce the number of times NCVS respondents are interviewed.

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