Advertisement

Effects of Incentives in Surveys

  • Vera ToepoelEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Nonresponse is an important indicator of TSE, and incentives are widely used to increase response rates. This chapter discusses the theories behind incentive effects, discusses the possible forms of incentives and related effects, estimates the optimal amount of incentives, handles different modes of data collection, the relation between incentives and data quality, and ends with best practices and a view toward the future in order to help survey researchers in identifying if, how and how much incentives should be used in their surveys.

Keywords

Response rates  Survey participation  Incentive amount  Monetary incentives  Prepaid incentivesprepaid incentives 

References

  1. Biemer, P. (2010). Total survey error design, implementation, and evaluation. Public Opinion Quarterly, 74, 817–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biner, P. M., & Kidd, H. J. (1994). The interactive effects of monetary incentive justification and questionnaire length on mail survey response rates. Psychological and Marketing, 11, 483–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birnholtz, J. P., Horn, D. B., Finholt, T. A., & Bae, S. J. (2004). The effects of cash, electronic, and paper gift certificates as respondent incentives for a web-based survey of technologically sophisticated respondents. Social Science Computer Review, 22, 355–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brehm, S. S., & Brehm, J. W. (1981). A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Budowski, M., & Scherpenzeel, A. (2004). Encouraging and maintaining participation in household surveys: the case of the swiss household panel, working paper, 1_04. Neuchatel: Swiss Household Panel.Google Scholar
  6. Church, A. H. (1993). Estimating the effect of incentives on mail survey response rates: A meta-analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 57, 62–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Curtin, R., Presser, S., & Singer, E. (2005). Changes in telephone survey nonresponse over the past quarter century. Public Opinion Quarterly, 69, 87–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dillman, D. A. (1978). Mail and telephone surveys: The total design method. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Dillman, D. A. (2007). Mail and internet surveys. The Tailored design method. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Eyerman, J., Bowman, K., Butler, D., & Wright, D. (2005). The differential impact of incentives on refusals: Results from the 2001 national household survey on drug abuse incentive experiment. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 30, 157–169.Google Scholar
  11. Göritz, A. S. (2004). The impact of material incentives on response quantity, response quality, sample composition, survey outcome, and cost in online access panels. International Journal of Market Research, 46, 327–345.Google Scholar
  12. Göritz, A. S. (2005). Contingent versus unconditional incentives in www-studies. Metodolosky Zvezki, 2, 1–14.Google Scholar
  13. Göritz, A. S. (2006). Incentives in web surveys: Methodological issues and a review. International Journal of Internet Science, 1, 58–70.Google Scholar
  14. Göritz, A. S. & Neumann, B. P. (2011). The longitudinal effects of incentives on response quantity in online panels. Retrieved from www.goeritz.net
  15. Göritz, A. S., & Wolff, H.-G. (2007). Lotteries as incentives in longitudinal web surveys. Social Science Computer Review, 25, 99–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Göritz, A. S., Wolff, H.-G., & Goldstein, D. G. (2008). Individual payments as a longer-term incentive in online panels. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 1144–1149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Groves, R. M. (1989). Survey errors and survey costs. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Groves, R. M., Cialdini, R. B., & Couper, M. P. (1992). Understanding the decision to participate in a survey. Public Opinion Quarterly, 56, 475–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Groves, R. M., Singer, E. & Corning A. D. (2000). A leverage-saliency theory of survey participation: description and illustration., Public Opinion Quarterly, 64, 299–308.Google Scholar
  20. Harris, I. A., Khoo, O. K., Young, J. M., Solomon, M. J., & Rae, H. (2008). Lottery incentives did not improve response rate to a mailed survey: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 61, 609–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hubbard, R., & Little, E. L. (1998). Promised contributions to charity and mail survey responses: replication with extension. Public Opinion Quarterly, 52, 223–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. James, J., & Bolstein, R. (1992). Large monetary incentives and their effect on mail survey response rates. Public Opinion Quarterly, 56, 442–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jobber, D., & Saunders, J. (1988). Modeling the effects of prepaid monetary incentives on mail survey response. Journal of Operation Research Society, 39, 365–372.Google Scholar
  24. Jobber, D., Saunders, J., & Mitchel, J. W. (2004). Prepaid monetary incentive effects on mail survey response. Journal of Business Research, 57, 21–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kroph, M. E., & Blair, J. (2005). Eliciting survey cooperation: incentives self-interest, and norms of cooperation. Evaluation Review, 29, 559–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Larson, P. D., & Chow, G. (2003). Total cost/response rate trade-offs in mail survey research: impact of follow-up mailings and monetary incentives. Industrial Marketing Management, 32, 533–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Laurie, H., & Lynn, P. (2008). The use of respondent incentives on longitudinal surveys. Institute for Social and Economic Research, No: 2008-42. Google Scholar
  28. Messer, B., & Dillman, D. A. (2010). Using address based samping to survey the general public by mail vs. ‘Web Plus Mail’, Technical Report 10–13, Pullman, WA:Social & Economic Sciences Research Center.Google Scholar
  29. Petrolia, D. R., & Bhattacharjee, S. (2009). Revisiting incentive effects. evidence from a random-sample mail survey on cnsumer preferences for fuel ethanol. Public Opinion Quarterly, 73, 537–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Porter, S. R., & Whitcomb, M. E. (2003). The impact of lottery incentives on student survey response rates. Research in Higher Education, 44, 389–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Putnam, R. D. (1995). Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in america. Political Science & Politics, 28, 664–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of american community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  33. Medway, R. Tourangeau, R., Viera, L. & Marsh, S. (2011). Exploring the impact of prepaid cash incentives on multiple indicators of data quality. Paper presented at Phoenix, AZ:AAPOR Conference. Google Scholar
  34. Ryu, E., Couper, M. P., & Marans, R. W. (2005). Survey incentives: cash vs. in-kind; face-to-face vs. mail; response rate vs. nonresponse error. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18, 89–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sanchez-Fernandez, J., Munoz-eiva, F., Montoro-Rios, F. J., & Ibanez-Zapata, J. A. (2010). An analysis of the effect of pre-incentives and post-incentives based on draws on response to web surveys. Quality & Quantity, 44, 357–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Saunders, J., Jobber, D., & Mitchell, V. (2006). The optimum prepaid monetary incentives for mail surveys. The Journal of the Operational Research Society, 57, 1224–1230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Singer, E., & Bossarte, R. M. (2006). Incentives for survey participation. when are they “Coercive”? American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31, 411–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Singer, E., Groves, R. M., & Corning, A. D. (1999a). Differential incentives: beliefs about practices, perceptions of equity, and effects on survey participation. Public Opinion Quarterly, 63, 251–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Singer, E., Van Hoewyk, J., Gebler, N., Raghunathan, T., & McGonagle, K. (1999b). The effect of incentives in interviewer-mediated surveys. Journal of Official Statistics, 15, 217–230.Google Scholar
  40. Singer, E., Van Hoewyk, J., & Maher, M. P. (2000). Experiments with incentives in telephone surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly, 64, 171–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Trussel, N., & Lavrakas, P. J. (2004). The influence of incremental increases in token cash incentives on mail survey response: is there an optimal amount? Public Opinion Quarterly, 68, 349–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Warriner, K., Goyder, J., Gjertsen, H., Hohner, P., & McSpurren, K. (1996). Charities, no; lotteries, no; cash, yes. main effects and interactions in a Canadian incentives experiment. Public Opinion Quarterly, 60, 542–562.Google Scholar
  43. Yu, J., & Cooper, H. (1983). A quantitative review of research design effects on response rates to questionnaires. Journal of Marketing Research, 20, 36–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zakorsky, J. L., & Rhoton, P. (2008). The effects of promised monetary incentives on attrition in a long-term panel survey. Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 502–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Readings

  1. Church, A. H. (1993). Estimating the Effect of Incentives on Mail Survey Response Rates: A Meta-Analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly, 57, 62–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dillman, D. A. (1978). Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Göritz, A. S. (2006). Incentives in Web Surveys: Methodological Issues and a Review. International Journal of Internet Science, 1, 58–70.Google Scholar
  4. Göritz, A. S. & Neumann, B.P. (2011). “The Longitudinal Effects of Incentives on Response Quantity in Online Panels”, retrieved from www.goeritz.net.Google Scholar
  5. Groves, R. M., Cialdini, R. B., & Couper, M. P. (1992). Understanding the Decision to Participate in a Survey. Public Opinion Quarterly, 56, 475–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Groves, R. M., Singer, E., & Corning A. D. (2000). ”A Leverage-Saliency Theory of Survey Participation: Description and Illustration”, Public Opinion Quarterly, 64, 299–308.Google Scholar
  7. Ryu, E., Couper, M. P., & Marans, R. W. (2005). Survey Incentives: Cash vs. In-Kind; Face-to-Face vs. Mail; Response Rate vs. Nonresponse Error. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18, 89–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Saunders, J., Jobber, D., & Mitchell, V. (2006). The Optimum Prepaid Monetary Incentives for Mail Surveys. The Journal of the Operational Research Society, 57, 1224–1230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Singer, E., Van Hoewyk, J., Gebler, N., Raghunathan, T., & McGonagle, K. (1999). The Effect of Incentives in Interviewer-Mediated Surveys. Journal of Official Statistics, 15, 217–230.Google Scholar
  10. Singer, E., Groves, R. M., & Corning, A. D. (1999). Differential Incentives: Beliefs about Practices, Perceptions of Equity, and Effects on Survey Participation. Public Opinion Quarterly, 63, 251–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. Leisure StudiesTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations