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Incentives as a possible measure to increase response rates

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Ernst Stähli Michèle, Joye Dominique,
Project European Social Survey 2014+2016
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book The SAGE handbook of survey methodology
Editor , Fu Yang-chih; , Wolf Christof; , Joye Dominique; , Smith Tom E. C
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd., London
Page(s) 425 - 440
ISBN 9781473957893
Title of proceedings The SAGE handbook of survey methodology
DOI 10.4135/9781473957893


This chapter aims to give some general rules to survey practitioners about the use of incentives, without forgetting to take into the specific conditions under which a survey takes place. This means that not only can practical guidance be given, but also some theoretical elements are required, so that each survey designer can adapt the information to the specific conditions of his or her own survey. In the next section we present the rival theories explaining survey participation. The different types of incentives are then presented with their very general effects. This can be used as a list of general rules (third section). We then discuss the specific effects by mode (fourth section) and their impacts on final sample composition, data quality, and interviewers (fifth section). The final sections discuss ethical considerations, possible long-term effects of incentive practices, and the lack of knowledge in this field concerning countries in some parts of the world, and finally return to the necessary global survey-design approach.