Residential Mobility, Family Structure, and the Cell-Only Population
Posted: 4 Jun 2010
Date Written: Summer 2010
The cell-phone-only (CPO) population has grown rapidly over the past several years, causing concern for researchers who rely mostly on random digit dialing (RDD) of landlines to conduct their research. While early research on CPOs has focused largely on age differences, CPOs may differ from those with landlines in many other ways even after controlling for age. In this article, we use the Cooperative Congressional Election Study-an Internet survey based on matched random sampling-and the American National Election Study-an in-person survey based on stratified residential sampling-to examine the potential effects of the cell-only population for survey research. These surveys are ideal for studying the causes and consequences of cell-only lifestyles for survey research because they reach cell-only and landline respondents through a single sampling frame. We reach two main conclusions: (1) CPO households are not simply a function of age, but of other factors as well, especially residential mobility and family structure; and (2) there are notable differentials in vote preferences and turnout between CPOs and others.
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