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Want to be an Early Bird? Can encouraging respondents to contact interviewers to make appointments boost co-operation rates and save costs in a UK context?

Brown, Matt and Calderwood, Lisa (2012) Want to be an Early Bird? Can encouraging respondents to contact interviewers to make appointments boost co-operation rates and save costs in a UK context? In: AAPOR 67th Annual Conference, 2012-05-17 - 2012-05-20, Orlando. (In Press)

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Abstract

A typical approach to inviting individuals to participate in a face-to-face survey is to send advance materials and then follow up with an interviewer call to arrange an appointment to conduct an interview. This model is very much interviewer-driven; interviewers mail advance materials themselves, decide themselves when to attempt initial contact and to an extent arrange appointments around their own availability. A trial conducted by the National Longitudinal Surveys in America found that financially incentivising respondents to contact interviewers directly to arrange appointments significantly reduced the interviewer time required to achieve a productive interview. The savings in interviewer time more than outweighed the cost of providing incentives. In this paper we present the results of a randomised control experiment, conducted in 2011 amongst 1400 households in the UK Household Longitudinal Study Innovation Panel, which seeks to evaluate the potential impact on co-operation rates and cost-efficiencies which could be achieved by encouraging respondents (with and without financial reward) to contact interviewers to schedule appointments. Households were randomly allocated to one of three groups. Two groups received advance materials two weeks before fieldwork began. These materials sought to encourage participants to be an ‘Early-Bird’ and contact their interviewer to arrange an appointment in the first two weeks of fieldwork. Group 1 were offered a financial incentive (to all members of the household) to do this whereas the encouragement for Group 2 was additional text in the advance materials explaining that being an ‘Early-Bird’ would make ‘your interviewer’s life much easier as they will not have to make repeated telephone calls or visits to your home in order to reach you’. The third group acted as a control group and received the ‘standard’ contact strategy – advance materials were posted at the beginning of fieldwork and followed by the interviewer attempting to make contact.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 04:33
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 10:38
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