Designing Multistage Samples
Using multistage samples can often be a practical and cost-efficient solution in situations where a list of elementary units is not available for direct sampling (e.g., households in the U.S.). In those cases, a list of elementary units can be compiled within just the sample clusters rather than for the whole frame. The initial section of this chapter describes some of the units that can be used as PSUs. Later sections present basic variance formulas for two- and three-stage sampling. These are used to determine optimal allocations in which cost is a consideration. The chapter discusses estimation of the variance components that are required for sample allocation. We also cover stratification of PSUs and criteria for identifying PSUs that are selected with certainty, i.e., with probability one.
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