L'uso delle reti sociali per la costruzione di campioni probabilistici: possibilità e limiti per lo studio di popolazioni senza lista di campionamento
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2010 - 3
A. VITALINI, The use of social networks for the construction of probability samples: opportunities
and limitations for the study of populations without sampling frame
Populations without sampling frame, usually called hidden populations, are inherently
hard to sample by conventional sampling designs. Often the only practical methods of
obtanining the sample involve following social links from some initially identified respondents
to add more research partecipants to the sample. These kinds of link-tracing designs
make the sample liable to various forms of bias and make extremely difficult to generalize the
results to the population studied.
This article describes some attempts to build a statistical theory of link-tracing designs and
illustrates, deeply, the Respondent-Driven Sampling, a link-tracing sampling design that should
allow researchers to make, in hidden populations, asymptotically unbiased estimates under certain
Last, the article discusses some features and problems of the Respondent-Driven Sampling
which deserve further investigation and study.
Key words: snowball sampling, link-tracing sampling, sampling hidden populations, responentdriven
sampling, Markov chain.