alexa AN EMPIRICAL TEST OF RESPONDENT-DRIVEN SAMPLING: POINT ESTIMATES, VARIANCE, DEGREE MEASURES, AND OUT-OF-EQUILIBRIUM DATA.
Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

Author(s): Wejnert C, Wejnert C

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Abstract This paper, which is the first large scale application of Respondent-Driven Sampling (RDS) to non-hidden populations, tests three factors related to RDS estimation against institutional data using two WebRDS samples of university undergraduates. First, two methods of calculating RDS point estimates are compared. RDS estimates calculated using both methods coincide closely, but variance estimation, especially for small groups, is problematic for both methods. In one method, the bootstrap algorithm used to generate confidence intervals is found to underestimate variance. In the other method, where analytical variance estimation is possible, confidence intervals tend to overestimate variance. Second, RDS estimates are found to be robust against varying measures of individual degree. Results suggest the standard degree measure currently employed in most RDS studies is among the best performing degree measures. Finally, RDS is found to be robust against the inclusion of out-of-equilibrium data. The results show that valid point estimates can be generated with RDS analysis using real data, however further research is needed to improve variance estimation techniques.
This article was published in Sociol Methodol and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

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