Billing Zip Codes in Cellular Telephone Sampling

David Dutwin

Abstract


Major sampling companies have recently begun to offer the appending of billing zip codes to cellular telephone samples. This study considers the utility of the billing zip flag by investigating first what percent of cell phone telephone numbers receive the flag, and then, through the use of a large scale national study, by measuring the percent of cell owners whose billing zip actually matches the self-reported zip of their household. Differences by geography, demographics, and characteristics of the zip codes themselves are analyzed to assess the degree of bias inherent in utilizing only sample which has a billing zip flag, and then of respondents who actually qualify for a study by reporting that they in fact live in the zip code(s) targeted by such sample. Finally, this paper considers the distribution of respondents who have a billing zip flag but do not live in their billing zip, and considers the increase in coverage that can be attained by casting a wider net to nearby zip codes, outside of the study target geography.

Keywords


Cellphone; Sampling; Telephone

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