Following the question here, Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) Sampling Method seems appropriate in constructing a sample when the primary units are of different sizes in the target population.

As I understand, this is a self-weighting technique, so does not require any special consideration in the data analysis stage. It is also a probability sampling technique so meets the assumption of correlation and regression models.

I am looking for some good resources that can help me better understand this technique. Perhaps a flowchart that illustrates this method would be great to show to my 'non-statistical' target audience.


To me, the ultimate resource on PPS is Brewer and Hanif (1982) Sampling with Unequal Probabilities. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to lay one's hands on. It is also highly technical and assumes a knowledge somewhere between Lohr (2009) "Sampling: Design and Analysis" and Thompson (1997) Theory of Sample Surveys. The latter lists and explains about half a dozen PPS methods (Brewer gives about 50).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Stask. I am not very 'strong' in statistics, so I am after a simple explanation and a guide on PPS (though I will access the books you have recommended). I found a paper that explains it quite well. I don't have the points to link it here but it is in the post that is linked in the question above. What do you think of the method outlined in that paper? $\endgroup$ – Adhesh Josh Jan 30 '12 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ It's a fair explanation of the method, but it's a different design: a systematic PPS sample. You cannot have unbiased variance estimates with systematic samples unless you utilize some special tricks (e.g., running two threads with two independent seeds and twice the sampling interval). $\endgroup$ – StasK Feb 2 '12 at 19:39

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