Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology
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Interagency Group on Establishment Nonresponse

About IGEN
The Interagency Group on Establishment Nonresponse was formed in 1998 as an FCSM subcommittee to share information across member agencies on the subject of nonresponse in establishment surveys, identify areas of common research interest, and promote collaborative research projects in those areas. Nonresponse in Federal surveys of establishments is a growing concern among our agencies, and gathering data from establishments presents some unique challenges which have not been rigorously examined in the past.
IGEN's membership is drawn from survey methodologists and statisticians from the following member agencies:
The group meets several times a year. IGEN is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the direction of Clyde Tucker. The current co-chairs of the group are Kathy Downey of BLS, and Carl Ramirez of GAO.

IGEN's Research Agenda and Projects Under Consideration
Past and Present Areas of Interest
Three Past Proposals for Collaborative Interagency Research on Establishment Nonresponse
IGEN members determined that the following three research projects might be of widespread interest to the survey research programs in their respective agencies, and propose that they be adopted by one or more agencies: Three Final IGEN Research Proposals

IGEN's Past Work
IGEN members have presented the following research papers on various establishment nonresponse issues:
Interagency Group on Establishment Survey Nonresponse. (1998). Establishment Nonresponse: Revisiting the Issues and Looking to the Future, Statistical Policy Working Paper 28, Washington, DC: Office of Management and Budget, pp. 181-227.
Originally presented at the November 1998 COPAFS conference, this paper summarizes the research literature on the measurement and abatement of unit nonresponse to establishment surveys, reviews the establishment survey programs at member agencies, gives a general overview of response rate calculation issues, analyzes the trends in establishment nonresponse in 12 federal government surveys, and discusses methods for reducing and adjusting for nonresponse. It also summarizes the current research efforts related to establishment nonresponse conducted at member agencies.
Ramirez, C. (2000). Report from the Interagency Group on Establishment Nonresponse. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Establishment Surveys, Buffalo, NY, June 2000, pp. 1198-1203
This paper documents the work of the IGEN, which was charged with examining issues associated with unit nonresponse in Federal establishment surveys, sharing and disseminating methodological research findings and survey design practices related to the measurement and abatement of nonresponse, and fostering future collaborative research on establishment nonresponse within the federal statistical community. This paper describes the three research programs IGEN has proposed for adoption by agencies. The paper also notes other efforts at collaboration, and lists difficulties in promoting such interagency collaboration.
Ramirez, C., S. Fisher, J. Stanley McCarthy (2000). Examining Standardization Of Response Rate Measures In Establishment Surveys. Paper presented at the 2000 COPAFS Conference, Bethesda MD, November 2000.
This paper reviews the similarities and differences among the response rates calculated across a number of establishment surveys conducted by U.S. statistical agencies, and discusses the extent to which there is standardization in the calculation and publication of such rates and the reasons why this is so. It also explores the possibilities, advantages, and disadvantages of fostering greater coordination and standardization across IGEN-member agencies in this regard.
Shimizu, I. (2000). Response in Federal Establishment Surveys. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Establishment Surveys, Buffalo, NY, June, 2000, pp. 1203-1208.
This paper summarizes agency information on response rates and research into nonresponse that IGEN has collected to date. The paper present trends in response rates for selected surveys and provides examples of how agencies calculate and present response rates. It also discusses various definitions of respondents and survey eligible units which are used to derive the numbers included in response rate calculations. The intention of this paper is to bring together information about unit response from across a wide spectrum of Federal agencies and establishment surveys. We hope that this will facilitate previously unavailable comparisons across surveys and establishment populations as well as promote the exchange of research ideas (both to IGEN members and others) as the IGEN member agencies work to increase response rates in establishment surveys.
The Interagency Household Survey Nonresponse Group
Research Conferences
Member Agencies
Selected Research Papers