Residential Mobility, Family Structure, and the Cell-Only Population

Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Stephen Ansolabehere

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government

Brian F. Schaffner

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Department of Political Science

Date Written: Summer 2010

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Ansolabehere, Stephen and Schaffner, Brian F., Residential Mobility, Family Structure, and the Cell-Only Population (Summer 2010). Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 74, Issue 2, pp. 244-259, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1617526 or http://dx.doi.org/nfq018

Stephen Ansolabehere (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brian F. Schaffner

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Department of Political Science ( email )

Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

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