The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Short Courses

Construction of Weights in Surveys

Co-sponsored by AAPOR and DC-AAPOR

Presented by David Haziza
March 16-17, 2017

Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference Center

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Postal Square Building
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20212-0001



2017 Members:  $100
2017 Non-Members:  $300 (includes AAPOR and DC-AAPOR membership)

About This Course:

Most surveys are designed to provide statistics for a possibly (very) large number of characteristics of interest. Typically, the data collected are stored in a rectangular data file, each row corresponding to a sample unit and each column corresponding to a characteristic of interest. Made available on the data file is a weighting system. The idea is to construct a single weighting system applicable to all the characteristics of interest. The typical weighting process involves three major stages. At the first stage, each unit is assigned a base weight, which is defined as the inverse of its inclusion probability. The base weights are then modified to account for unit nonresponse. At the last stage, the weights adjusted for nonresponse are further modified to ensure consistency between survey estimates and known population totals. When needed, the weights undergo a last modification through weight trimming or weight smoothing methods in order to improve the efficiency of survey estimates.  The goal of the workshop is to provide a detailed (theoretical and practical) description of each stage of the weighting process. Throughout the workshop, different concepts will be illustrated through live simulation studies.

About the Instructor:

David Haziza
 is an Associate Professor in the Department of mathematics and statistics at the Université de Montréal.

Course Outline:

Day 1 Morning
  • Introduction to weighting: multipurpose surveys, weighting system, notation, finite population parameters
  • Sampling designs: definition and commonly used sampling designs in practice (stratified simple random sampling, Poisson sampling, proportional-to-size sampling, two-stage sampling, two-phase sampling, indirect sampling), first and second-order inclusion probabilities
  • The basic weighting system: Unweighted estimator, Horvitz-Thompson estimator, weighting in two-stage sampling, weighting in two-phase sampling, weight-share method
Day 1 Afternoon
  • Calibrated weighting system: definition, general formulation of calibration, calibration methods (linear method, exponential method, truncated linear and logit methods), properties of calibration methods, calibration in two-stage sampling, calibration in two-phase sampling, model calibration
Day 2 Morning 
  • Weighting system adjusted for nonresponse: estimation of the response probabilities (parametric and nonparametric methods), empirical double expansion estimator and its properties, one-step approach, two-step approach
Day 2 Afternoon
  • Weight trimming and weight smoothing methods
  • Use of a single weighting system: internal and external consistencyIdentify a proper scale for the measurement task. 

Course Schedule:

Day 1 and 2
Check-In 8:30 a.m.
Start 9:00 a.m.
Break 1 10:30 a.m.
Lunch on your own 12:00 p.m.
Return 1:00 p.m.
Break 2 2:30 p.m.
End 4:30 p.m.
For more information contact: Heidi Diederich at hdiederich@aapor.org or call 847-686-2230