Efficacy of Incentives in Increasing Response Rates
Fahimi, M., Whitmore, R. W., Chromy, J. R., Siegel, P. H., & Cahalan, M. J. (2006, January). Efficacy of Incentives in Increasing Response Rates. Presented at Second International Conference on Telephone Survey Methodology, Miami, FL.
Nonresponse has become one of the major challenges to conducting high quality survey research, since the quality of survey estimates is contingent upon a high rate of response. Now, more than ever before, securing a respectable response rate is an objective that is hard to achieve in most surveys, as cooperation rates seem to be on a decline in the developed world (Leeuw and Heer 2002). There is a body of research suggesting that using incentives of appropriate amounts can provide a cost-effect means for increasing overall response rates and achieving the desired number of completed interviews. Examples of such research studies include those conducted by: Berlin et al., 1992; Kulka, 1992; Church, 1993; Kulka, 1994; Mosher, 1994; Warriner, Goyder, Gjertsen, Hohner, & McSpurren, 1996; Singer, VanHoewyk, Gebler, Raghunathan, and McGonagle, 1999; and Link, Malizio, Curtin, 2001.This paper provides a summary of the results obtained from an experiment conducted to assess the effectiveness of incentives for increasing the response rate, overall and in particular for hardto- reach individuals. Data for this research come the from the 2003 field test of the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF), conducted for the National Center for Education Statistics, US Department of Education. This nation-wide study involved collection of data from faculty at postsecondary institutions. The experiment consisted of a design where two levels of incentives for nonresponse follow-up were nested within three levels of incentives for early response. Results include statistical tests of significance and a cost-benefit analysis to assess the efficacy of incentives.