In 1989 Bob Groves sent a letter to a number of Swedish statisticians proposing cooperation in the area of nonresponse research and advocating the setting up of an international workshop on household nonresponse. In 2015 the International Workshop on Household Survey Nonresponse (www.nonresponse.org) convened for the 26th time. Looking back on nonresponse studies over time allows us to assess whether the research agenda from the past is still relevant, which problems have been solved, and which new problems have arisen. The first part of this chapter introduces a number of background issues, such as the decline in response rates and why nonresponse is important. Several of the topics presented here are discussed in more detail in other ...
THE NONRESPONSE CHALLENGE