Working Paper

Survey Incentives, Survey Effort, and Survey Costs

Abstract: This paper uses the 2007 and 2010 waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to investigate how monetary incentives affect the time and effort that interviewers expend during the survey field period, and how these incentives affect effort expended by the survey respondent. The results imply that a larger monetary incentive offer helps reduce contact attempts and time in the field while maintaining data quality and effort during the survey by the respondent. Our results are based on a quasi-experiment that varies which families receive an incentive offer letter. Supporting evidence is given through a comparison of field effort outcomes between 2010 and 2007 after the base incentive increased from $20 in 2007 to $50 in 2010.

Keywords: Incentives; data quality; contact attempts; record-of-call paradata;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2014-10-14

Number: 2014-74

Pages: 38 pages