Effects of respondent incentives in Health Interview Surveys. Differences according to survey modes, incentive strategies and incentive values 2
|Dr Elena Von Der Lippe (Robert Koch Institute )
|Mr Patrick Schmich (Robert Koch Insitute)
|Mr Matthias Wetzstein (Robert Koch Institute)
The results of an experiment examining the impact of unconditional incentives on cooperation rates in a mixed mode supplement to a national panel study are described. Sample members are respondents in the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics who were invited to participate in a mixed mode study about childhood experiences. At the end of the study, non-responders were randomly assigned to receive a final request for participation that included either $5, $10, or no incentive. The study describes the impact of the incentive and incentive amounts on participation by mode and key characteristics of panel members.
The usefulness of cash incentives to increase survey participation has been widely evidenced. Most of the available research, however, was conducted in a western context. In this paper, we report on an incentives experiment that was implemented in the National Service Scheme Survey (N3S) in Ghana. In the N3S, respondents were given an incentive in the form of mobile phone credit or so-called ‘top-up’. Participants were randomized over six different incentive conditions (5, 10 or 20 Ghanaian Cedis; conditional vs. unconditional). We discuss the impact of incentives on unit and item non-response, response times and measurement errors.
Convincing physicians to participate in surveys can be difficult, and the effectiveness of incentives on this population is inconsistent. This paper reports on a series of experiments on the effectiveness of a high-quality pen as an incentive. Consistently, this incentive significantly increased response rates, and just as importantly, encouraged earlier responding which reduced costs. Embedding these experiments within a longitudinal survey permitted several additional analyses, including whether the pen effect varied based upon past responding behavior and key substantive variables. Experiments also explored the effects of providing multiple pens, and the effectiveness of the pen on different questionnaire lengths.
It is generally accepted that monetary incentives increase response rates in physician surveys but there remains little consensus on the optimal amount. In this paper, we report the results of qualitative and quantitative investigations of the latter topic recently conducted at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. We conclude that a $10 incentive should be considered for physician populations given the tradeoffs between quality and cost. However, the results of our formative, qualitative work, suggest that monetary incentives of much higher amounts are expected by physicians. We describe a planned study that includes a broader range of incentive amounts.