Incentive Strategies for Minorities: Results of an experiment

Patrick Fick, Claudia Diehl


Mail surveys are under certain conditions a cost-effective mode of data collection in the generally cost-intensive research on ethnic minorities. Compared to other survey modes they make financial resources available that can be invested into strategies to increase survey response rates. Based on these assumptions, we study general as well as sub-group specific effects of various forms of incentives on response rates and sampling bias. We start out by presenting theoretical considerations about the use of different forms of incentives. It follows an introduction of a hitherto little-discussed „double incentive“ strategy consisting of an unconditional and a conditional part. The logic of such a strategy is to increase the costs of non-participation and the benefits of participation for participants at the same time. Empirical evidence is presented on the basis of an experiment with a specific population of young German-Turkish adults. After all, the double incentive strategy has positive effects on the response rate and therefore seems to be a reasonable option. In accordance with prior findings incentives seem to reduce sample bias. Obviously, they lead to a decrease in sampling bias of respondents from disadvantaged or less integrated subgroups.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Patrick Fick, Claudia Diehl

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