On 16-17 November in Brussels, the European Commission (EC) and the OECD will host the 8th Joint EC/OECD Workshop on recent developments in Business and Consumer Surveys.
The joint EC-OECD workshop provides a forum to exchange knowledge and discuss the current challenges and prospects in the field. It also aims to foster the harmonisation and promote the use of Business and Consumer Opinion Surveys. The workshop coincides with the European Commission's annual meeting with its partner institutes in the Joint Harmonised EU Programme of Business and Consumer Surveys (BCS).
The special topic of this year’s workshop is: “The impact of elections and unexpected/extraordinary events on opinion survey data”.
This choice reflects the high number of recent elections, inter alia in four G7 countries (France, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States). Moreover, Europe and the world have been subject to a number of extraordinary shocks in recent times, such as a series of terroristic attacks, the UK referendum on European Union membership (Brexit), Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the armed conflict in Syria and the ensuing refugee crisis, to name but a few.
Presentations and discussions related to the special topic will investigate if and to what extent these events, which typically create considerable uncertainty in one or another way, have an imprint on tendency survey data and how the effects can be characterised (positive vs. negative, temporary vs. long-lasting, etc.). The analysis of the transmission (or not) of the effects to the real economy, and general advice on how to interpret survey data around elections or extraordinary events are further examples of issues to be addressed.
We also expect follow-up presentations on the special topic of last year's BCS Workshop of the European Commission, namely 'The impact of economic crises on tendency survey data'. The main questions are whether there are signs of a 'new modesty' in survey responses following the Great Recession of the late 2000s and whether this could (partly) be related to the technical impact of severe economic crises on sampling.
Finally, the workshop will also be the occasion to discuss survey methodology more widely. We solicit contributions from survey institutes that have recently carried out work related to their survey methodology (e.g. with a view to raising response rates, reducing volatility, increase representativeness,…) or are planning to do so.