Gender and Survey Participation: An Event History Analysis of the Gender Effects of Survey Participation in a Probability-based Multi-wave Panel Study with a Sequential Mixed-mode Design

Rolf Becker


In cross-sectional surveys, as well as in longitudinal panel studies, systematic gender dif­ferences in survey participation are routinely observed. Since there has been little research on this issue, this study seeks to reveal this association for web-based online surveys and computer-assisted telephone interviews in the context of a sequential mixed-mode design with a push-to-web method. Based on diverse versions of benefit–cost theories relating to deliberative and heuristic decision-making, several hypotheses are deduced and then tested by longitudinal data in the context of a multi-wave panel study on the educational and occu­pational trajectories of juveniles. Employing event history data on the survey participation of young panelists living in German-speaking cantons in Switzerland and matching them with geographical data at the macro level and panel characteristics at the meso level, none of the hypotheses is confirmed empirically. It is concluded that indirect measures of an individual’s perceptions of a situation, and of the benefits and costs as well as the process and mechanisms of the decision relating to survey participation, are insufficient to explain this gender difference. Direct tests of these theoretical approaches are needed in future.


Gender, survey participation, nonresponse, event history analysis, societal environment, panel study, web-based online survey, sequential mixed-mode design, push-to-web method

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