This content will become publicly available on February 1, 2023
- Publication Date:
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- Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Abstract In recent years, household surveys have expended significant effort to counter well-documented increases in direct refusals and greater difficulty contacting survey respondents. A substantial amount of fieldwork effort in panel surveys using telephone interviewing is devoted to the task of contacting the respondent to schedule the day and time of the interview. Higher fieldwork effort leads to greater costs and is associated with lower response rates. A new approach was experimentally evaluated in the 2017 wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Transition into Adulthood Supplement (TAS) that allowed a randomly selected subset of respondents to choose their own day and time of their telephone interview through the use of an online appointment scheduler. TAS is a nationally representative study of US young adults aged 18–28 years embedded within the worlds’ longest running panel study, the PSID. This paper experimentally evaluates the effect of offering the online appointment scheduler on fieldwork outcomes, including number of interviewer contact attempts and interview sessions, number of days to complete the interview, and response rates. We describe panel study members’ characteristics associated with uptake of the online scheduler and examine differences in the effectiveness of the treatment across subgroups. Finally, potential cost-savingsmore »
The Effects of an Incentive Boost on Response Rates, Fieldwork Effort, and Costs across Two Waves of a Panel StudyThis paper describes the association between an incentive boost and data collection outcomes across two waves of a long-running panel study. In a recent wave, with the aim of achieving response rate goals, all remaining sample members were offered a substantial incentive increase in the final weeks of data collection, despite uncertainty about potential effects on fieldwork outcomes in the following wave. The analyses examine response rates and the average number of interviewer attempts to complete the interview in the waves during and after the incentive boost, and provide an estimate of the cost of the incentives and fieldwork in the waves during and following the boost. The findings provide suggestive evidence that the use of variable incentive strategies from one wave to the next in the context of an ongoing panel study may be an effective strategy to reduce nonresponse and may yield enduring positive effects on subsequent data collection outcomes.
Switching from telephone to web‐first mixed‐mode data collection: Results from the Transition into Adulthood Supplement to the US Panel Study of Income DynamicsWe conducted an experiment to evaluate the effects on fieldwork outcomes and interview mode of switching to a web-first mixed-mode data collection design (self-administered web interview and interviewer-administered telephone interview) from a telephone-only design. We examine whether the mixed-mode option leads to better survey outcomes, based on response rates, fieldwork outcomes, interview quality and costs. We also examine respondent characteristics associated with completing a web interview rather than a telephone interview. Our mode experiment study was conducted in the 2019 wave of the Transition into Adulthood Supplement (TAS) to the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). TAS collects information biennially from approximately 3,000 young adults in PSID families. The shift to a mixed-mode design for TAS was aimed at reducing costs and increasing respondent cooperation. We found that for mixed-mode cases compared to telephone only cases, response rates were higher, interviews were completed faster and with lower effort, the quality of the interview data appeared better, and fieldwork costs were lower. A clear set of respondent characteristics reflecting demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, technology availability and use, time use, and psychological health were associated with completing a web interview rather than a telephone interview.
The Visible Cash Effect with Prepaid Incentives: Evidence for Data Quality, Response Rates, Generalizability, and Cost
A prior study found that mailing prepaid incentives with $5 cash visible from outside the envelope increased the response rate to a mail survey by 4 percentage points compared to cash that was not externally visible. This “visible cash effect” suggests opportunities to improve survey response at little or no cost, but many unknowns remain. Among them: Does the visible cash effect generalize to different survey modes, respondent burdens, and cash amounts? Does it differ between fresh samples and reinterview samples? Does it affect data quality or survey costs? This article examines these questions using two linked studies where incentive visibility was randomized in a large probability sample for the American National Election Studies. The first study used $10 incentives with invitations to a long web questionnaire (median 71 minutes, n = 17,849). Visible cash increased response rates in a fresh sample for both screener and extended interview response (by 6.7 and 4.8 percentage points, respectively). Visible cash did not increase the response rate in a reinterview sample where the baseline reinterview response rate was very high (72 percent). The second study used $5 incentives with invitations to a mail-back paper questionnaire (n = 8,000). Visible cash increased the response rate in a samplemore »
Closing the doors of opportunity: A field theoretic analysis of the prevalence and nature of obstacles to college internshipsBackground: Internships for college students can enhance their grades, skills, and employment prospects, but finding and completing an internship sometimes requires considerable resources. Consequently, before postsecondary institutions consider mandating this high-impact practice, more evidence is needed regarding the various obstacles students face as they seek an internship. Focus of Study: The purpose of this study was to document the prevalence and nature of obstacles to securing a college internship and how these factors interact in the lives of particular students. Field theory is used to highlight the ways that structural inequalities and forms of capital serve to facilitate or constrain access to an internship experience. Population: The participants in this study included students attending five postsecondary institutions—three comprehensive universities, one historically Black college and university (HBCU), and one technical college in the U.S. states of Maryland, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Research Design: This concurrent mixed-methods study included the collection of survey (n = 1,549) and focus group and interview (n = 100) data from students who self-selected into the study. Given that this is a descriptive study, the aim was to document student experiences with obstacles to internships using varied sources of data. Data Collection and Analysis: Data were collectedmore »