The potential of mail surveys in geography: Some empirical evidence

Eran Feitelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Faced with soaring survey costs, geographers may increasingly consider mail or telephone surveys as alternatives to in-person interviews. This study goes beyond comparisons of response rates to analyze possible biases of administration methods in geographic studies. An empirical comparison between an in-person interview survey and two mail surveys of recent home buyers' housing preferences revealed that the mail surveys provided better representation of this population, as they had a higher completion rate (though lower response rate). While respondent attributes differed across administration modes, no direct effects of administration method on responses were found. Mail surveys appear to be a viable alternative to personal interviews in a wider set of cases than geographers usually assume, though more empirical work is needed to determine the extent of such cases.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)190-205
Number of pages16
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1991


  • Non response
  • Residential preferences
  • Sampling
  • Surveys


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