Is a Non-Representative Convenience Sample Good Enough? Insights from an Economic Experiment

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
Keywords: Non-representative convenience sampling, field experiments, online recruitment, representative sampling
Recruitment of representative and generalizable samples is a major challenge for researchers conducting economic field experiments. Limited access to representative samples or the high cost of obtaining them often leads to the recruitment of non-representative convenience samples. This research compares the findings from two field experiments involving 860 adults: one from a non-representative in-person convenience sample and one from a representative online counterpart. We find no meaningful differences in the key behaviors of interest between these two samples. These findings contribute to a growing body of literature demonstrating that non-representative convenience samples can be sufficient in certain contexts.