Barber, Jennifer S., Ganesh P. Shivakoti, William G. Axinn, and Kishor Gajurel. 1997. “Sampling Strategies for Rural Settings: A Detailed Example from Chitwan Valley Family Study, Nepal.” Nepal Population Journal 6(5):193-203.

Couper, Mick P., Garrett Gremel, William G. Axinn, Heidi Guyer, James Wagner, and Brady T. West. 2018. “New Options for National Population Surveys: The Implications of Internet and Smartphone Coverage.” Social Science Research 73:221-235. DOI.

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., Jennifer S. Barber, and Dirgha J. Ghimire. 1997. “The Neighborhood History Calendar: A Data Collection Method Designed for Dynamic Multilevel Modeling.” Sociological Methodology 27:355-392.

This paper presents a new data collection method, called the Neighborhood History Calendar, designed to collect event histories of community-level changes over time. We discuss the need for and the uses of this method. We describe issues related to the design of instruments, collection of data, and data entry. We provide detailed examples from an application of this method to the study of marriage, contraception, and fertility in rural Nepal. The paper addresses applications of this same technique to other settings and research problems. We also extend the technique to collection of other forms of contextual-history data, including school histories and health service histories. Finally, we discuss how Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can be used to link together multiple sources of contextual-history data.

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9531.271031

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., Lisa D. Pearce, and Dirgha J. Ghimire. 1999. “Innovations in Life History Calendar Applications.” Social Science Research 28(3):243-264.

Growing sociological interest in the timing and sequencing of important life events continues to fuel the development of sophisticated analytic methods. The life history calendar (LHC) was designed as a method of collecting detailed individual-level event timing and sequencing data. This paper describes new innovations which make gathering retrospective event history data with an LHC more feasible in a wider range of settings and for a broader set of substantive topics. These innovations allow researchers to accommodate broader age-range populations, populations who do not use standardized time measures, and an expanded set of behaviors. The innovations themselves include adding a more detailed set of timing cues, reorganizing the life history calendar’s visual cues, and using new recording strategies. Together these new methods expand the applicability of this well-established data collection tool, increasing the opportunities for using life history calendars to study the timing and sequencing of life events.

DOI: 10.1006/ssre.1998.0641

Publication Abstract

Barber, Jennifer S., Susan A. Murphy, William G. Axinn, and Jerry J. Maples. 2000. “Discrete-Time Multilevel Hazard Analysis.” Sociological Methodology 30:201-235.

Combining innovations in hazard modeling with those in multilevel modeling, we develop a method to estimate discrete-time multilevel hazard models. We derive the likelihood of and formulate assumptions for a discrete-time multilevel hazard model with time-varying covariates at two levels. We pay special attention to assumptions justifying the estimation method. Next, we demonstrate file construction and estimation of the models using two common software packages, HLM and MLN. We also illustrate the use of both packages by estimating a model of the hazard of contraceptive use in rural Nepal using time-varying covariates at both individual and neighborhood levels.

DOI: 10.1111/0081-1750.00079

Publication Abstract

Maples, Jerry J., Susan A. Murphy, and William G. Axinn. 2002. “Two-Level Proportional Hazards Models.” Biometrics 58(4):754-763.

We extend the proportional hazards model to a two-level model with a random intercept term and random coefficients. The parameters in the multilevel model are estimated by a combination of EM and Newton-Raphson algorithms. Even for samples of 50 groups, this method produces estimators of the fixed effects coefficients that are approximately unbiased and normally distributed. Two different methods, observed information and profile likelihood information, will be used to estimate the standard errors. This work is motivated by the goal of understanding the determinants of contraceptive use among Nepalese women in the Chitwan Valley Family Study (Axinn, Barber, and Ghimire, 1997). We utilize a two-level hazard model to examine how education and access to education for children covary with the initiation of permanent contraceptive use.

DOI: 10.1111/j.0006-341X.2002.00754.x

Publication Abstract

Pearce, Lisa D. 2002. “Integrating Survey and Ethnographic Methods for Systematic Anomalous Case Analysis.” Sociological Methodology 32(1):103-132.

This paper describes how the salience of research findings can be enhanced by combining survey and ethnographic methods to draw insights from anomalous cases. Using examples from a research project examining the influence of religion on childbearing preferences in Nepal, the author illustrates how survey data can facilitate the selection of ethnographic informants and how semistructured interviews with these deviant cases leads to improved theory, measures, and methods. A systematic sample of 28 informants, whose family size preferences were much larger than a multivariate regression model predicted, were selected from the survey respondent pool for observation and in–depth interviews. The intent was to explore relationships between religion and fertility preferences that may not have been captured in the initial multivariate survey data analyses. Following intensive fieldwork, the author revised theories about religion’s influence, coded new measures from the existing survey data, and added these to survey models to improve statistical fit. This paper discusses the author’s research methods, data analyses, and resulting insights for subsequent research, including suggestions for other applications of systematic analyses of anomalous cases using survey and ethnographic methods in tandem.

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9531.00113

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., and Lisa D. Pearce. 2006. “Mixed Method Data Collection Strategies.” Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Social scientists have long relied on a wide range of tools to collect information about the social world, but as individual fields have become more specialised, researchers are trained to use a narrow range of the possible data collection methods. This book draws on a broad range of available social data collection methods to formulate a set of data collection approaches. The approaches described here are ideal for social science researchers who plan to collect new data about people, organisations, or social processes. Axinn and Pearce present methods designed to create a comprehensive empirical description of the subject being studied, with an emphasis on accumulating the information needed to understand what causes what with a minimum of error. In addition to providing methodological motivation and underlying principles, the book is filled with detailed instructions and concrete examples for those who wish to apply the methods to their research.
Publication Abstract

Gatny, Heather H., Mick P. Couper, William G. Axinn, and Jennifer S. Barber. 2009. “Using Debit Cards for Incentive Payments: Experiences of a Weekly Survey Study.” Survey Practice 2(7).

The effectiveness of incentives is well-documented in the literature (e.g., Church 1993; Singer 2002). Cash incentives are both cost-effective and easy to deliver in face-to-face surveys, or as prepaid incentives enclosed with advance letters. For larger amounts—typically used with conditional incentives—checks are often used. The cost of processing and mailing a check can be relatively expensive, especially for small incentive amounts delivered frequently. In online panels, the use of lotteries or rewards points is common, in part because of the cost of delivering repeated incentives of small value (Göritz 2006). Unfortunately these incentives are often less effective than cash.

We describe an alternative approach to incentive delivery, using automated prepaid debit cards or cash gift cards, in the context of a weekly survey with small incentive payments. While ATM or debit cards have previously been used for one-time payment of incentives (e.g., Beckler and Ott 2006; McGrath 2006) and convenience store debit cards have been used for repeated incentive payments among volunteers (Wiebe et al. 2008), we are aware of no other studies that have used this approach for repeated delivery of small incentive amounts in a survey setting. This approach has several important advantages, including reducing the cost of incentive delivery, reducing the administrative costs associated with the need to reconcile cash payments, the automation of the delivery process, and the ability to track card use.

DOI: 10.29115/SP-2009-0034

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland, Alexandra Achen, Jennifer S. Barber, Georgina Binstock, Wade M. Garrison, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Wang Guangzhou, Ronald Inglehart, Rukmalie Jayakody, Yang Jiang, Julie de Jong, Katherine King, Ron J. Lesthaeghe, Sohair Mehenna, Colter Mitchell, Mansoor Moaddel, Norbert Schwarz, Yu Xie, Li-Shou Yang, Linda Young-DeMarco, and Kathryn M. Yount. 2010. “Creating Questions and Protocols for an International Study of Ideas About Development and Family Life.” Pp. 59-74 in Survey Methods in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts, edited by M. Braun, B. Edwards, J. Harkness, T. Johnson, L. Lyberg, P. Mohler, B.E. Pennell, and T.W. Smith. Hoboken. NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

This chapter describes creation and testing of procedures and instruments for use in international comparative research. It describes how the authors began their work with no existing measures of the theoretical concepts, and worked to construct and test a battery of measures for use. The chapter briefly explains the developmental model and its basic propositions about social change. It describes the organizational approach and initial steps in designing projects in several countries. The chapter explains how the authors used the experience and knowledge accumulated from their work in individual countries to prepare questionnaires and protocols for use in deliberately comparative projects. It discusses specific problems they encountered, along with lessons learned. The chapter provides preliminary evidence of the degree to which the authors were successful in measuring aspects of developmental thinking. Finally, it discusses the implications of the authors’ experience for other researchers who may design international data collections.

DOI: 10.1002/9780470609927.ch4