The Netherlands

  • Dirkjan Beukenhorst


The Netherlands are a very small country where 16 million people live closely together. This situation is important for understanding the history and use of telephone surveys for research or marketing. In countries like, for example, Finland conducting survey research using only face-to-face interviews is out of the question: many regions are so thinly populated that traveling costs and traveling time for face-to-face interviewers would be enormous. In the Netherlands, on the contrary, face-to-face interviews were affordable as a data collection method for scientific or statistical research until the recent past. During the last two decades, however, the costs of face-to-face interviews have been rising sharply, among other things due to rising transportation costs and to a change in the laws prohibiting hiring interviewers on piece-wages. Paying interviewers by the hour implied that traveling time had to be reimbursed. As a consequence of these increasing expenses for face-to-face data collection telephone interviews became more popular. This increase in CATI surveys was so sharp that by 1996 the CATI share in marketing research had risen to two times the European average. In fact, the Netherlands came immediately after the thinly populated Scandinavian countries in CATI use for market research (Bronner 2000). Data collection by telephone, however, has some drawbacks, as will be explained in this spotlight. Especially sampling frame problems are serious in the Netherlands.


Mobile Phone Telephone Number Labor Force Survey Random Digit Dial Mobile Phone User 
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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirkjan Beukenhorst
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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