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Mannheim Corona Study – and Less Robust Surveys

April 2020

The “German Internet Panel” (GIP) is a  long-term study at the Mannheim University School of Social Sciences, collecting survey data on individual attitudes and preferences relevant to political and economic decision-making processes. With robust statistical methods, a panel of over 4 000 participants and continuous monthly surveys from 2012 onwards, it provides a sound empirical foundation of the scientific research supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
With the current Corona crisis, the GIP research infrastructure has been quickly adapted to yield reliable quantitative data on the impact of the Corona crisis on daily life in Germany. The Mannheim Corona Study uses the methodology of the German Internet Panel to study the effects of the pandemic, using daily data gathered from a high-quality sample of the general population in Germany. Its 1 April: 12 Days Corona Study (Blom et al. (2020)) provides robust quantitative data (in German) on daily real-life social encounters and on Germans’ opinion on current and potential additional government measures to cope with the crisis – and many others. A good example of matching the need for robust methodology with the need for quick answers to today’s questions.

As it happens, the Strata Education Network also has started conducting weekly “nationally representative” surveys (among 1000 respondents) to track how COVID-19 impacts Americans’ lives, their work, and their needs for education and training. As befitting the home of the “Education Industry” the survey focuses primarily on whether Americans still see the need for education and feel they can still afford to pay for it.

NB: As the Mannheim statistics lead professor explained to your editor, for really representative surveys a number of exactly 1000 respondents is extremely unlikely and Strata’ +/- 3% standard margin of error is a signal that Strata has not calculated the correct estimate-specific margin of error. Red flags for unreliable methodology.

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