Respondent Incentives in a National Face-to-Face Survey: Effects on Outcome Rates, Sample Composition and Fieldwork Efforts

Michael Blohm, Achim Koch


Nonresponse is an ongoing challenge for survey research. In the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) 2010, an experiment was set up to test the effect of respondent incentives on outcome rates, sample composition and fieldwork efforts. A random subsample of target persons was offered a monetary incentive of €10 to be paid upon completion of the interview. The other part of the sample acted as a control group receiving no incentive. The incentive used in ALLBUS 2010 led to an increase in the response rate, mainly by improving the cooperation rate. It did not change the sample composition in a major way. Concerning fieldwork efforts, a slight reduction was observed: In the incentive condition, a given number of interviews was achieved with a lower number of contact attempts than in the no incentive condition.


Incentive, nonresponse, bias, sample composition, fieldwork effort

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Copyright (c) 2017 Michael Blohm, Achim Koch

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