New AIAS working paper: Who has access to mobile devices in an online commercial panel?

By Melanie Revilla, Daniele Toninelli, Carlos Ochoa and Germán Loewe



Nowadays, the large majority of web surveys are done through non probabilistic-based panels, in which people volunteer to participate. We expect that the spread of mobile devices differs in these panels, if compared to the general population. However, little is known about the exact spread of mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) within the panellists of access panels, and about their combination. Nevertheless, this is crucial information since they represent the majority of web surveys and since the participation of the panellists in these surveys is conditioned by the equipment they own. To get a more precise idea of the proportion of potential respondents through mobile devices in access panels, we study data from Netquest. The aim is mainly to evaluate the current spread of devices and their combination in countries not studied before: Spain, Portugal and Latin American countries. The results suggest that mobile devices (mainly smartphones) are spreading very quickly in these countries. Moreover, most panellists have more than one kind of devices at their disposal. Therefore, the mobile participation to surveys is potentially becoming more and more relevant, but the real participation through mobile depends also on which device panellists prefer to use when they have the choice.

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