Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

Response rates and more: applying incentives in a longitudinal survey

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Day:Tue 2 Jul
  • Michal Yemini, Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics

In an effort to fight the declining response rates of a face to face longitudinal survey, we managed to overcome bureaucracy procedures and apply an incentive plan at the fifth wave of the survey. Each interviewed household received a link to gift token to be received a week after the interview via e-mail or a text message sent to a smartphone. For households not using internet or smartphones, a paper voucher was prepared in advance.The effect on the response rate was significant. The response rate in wave 5 did not decrease as in previous waves. Compared to wave 4 the response rate increased by 3%. Moreover, refusal rate dropped to 25% compare to 28% in wave 4.Another positive effects was an increase in motivation and confidence felt by the fieldwork team, specifically, the interviewers and the supervisors. They found it easier to convince people to complete the interview knowing they can compensate them (even partially) for their effort.Finally, we gained an important insight as to the match between the incentive and the attributes of the receiver. In future waves, additional effort will be invested in choosing the incentives, taking into account interviewee attributes such as religion, nationality, geographical location and type of establishment.For the sixth wave (currently being carried), we decided to further increase the positive effects of the incentive by rewarding each member who was interviewed in the household.