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Is it Worth the Effort: RDD Telephone Surveys and Advance Survey Notification

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Abstract:

This paper investigates seeks to investigate the potentially unintended consequences of mailing an advance letter to RDD telephone survey respondents. While it is generally accepted that advance notification for any survey has positive effects on response rates, what is less clear are the effects on survey estimates.

Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System RDD Telephone Surveys for a number of states, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rent (FMR) Regional RDD Telephone Surveys, ORC Macro conducted experiments whereby the company mailed advance letters to randomly selected households of the RDD telephone sample members where addresses could be ascertained, and then did not mail advance letters to the other listed and unlisted households. Initial analyses of the FMR survey data indicated that perhaps the increased costs and efforts to obtain these higher response rates did not significantly affect the statistic of interest -- the contract rental value for two bedroom apartments; what was less clear is if the increased response rate affected the bias of the estimate.

This paper seeks to thoroughly examine how the advance notification affects response and cooperation rates for these two different RDD telephone surveys by evaluating whether or not the apparent receipt of advance notification introduce any significant bias to the variables of interest; does it introduce a new source of error into estimates by increasing the potential representation of the list portion of the RDD telephone-sampling frame. To the extent that differences between the two survey experiments are found, this paper then goes on to consider how the surveys’ advertised content effects participation and results.

Author's Keywords:

response rates, advance notification, rdd surveys, bias
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Association:
Name: American Association For Public Opinion Association
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http://www.aapor.org


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MLA Citation:

hall, leslyn ., ZuWallack, Randall . and Ivie, Kirsten. "Is it Worth the Effort: RDD Telephone Surveys and Advance Survey Notification" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association For Public Opinion Association, Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach, FL, <Not Available>. 2009-05-25 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p17121_index.html>

APA Citation:

hall, l. , ZuWallack, R. and Ivie, K. "Is it Worth the Effort: RDD Telephone Surveys and Advance Survey Notification" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association For Public Opinion Association, Fontainebleau Resort, Miami Beach, FL <Not Available>. 2009-05-25 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p17121_index.html

Publication Type: Paper/Poster Proposal
Abstract: This paper investigates seeks to investigate the potentially unintended consequences of mailing an advance letter to RDD telephone survey respondents. While it is generally accepted that advance notification for any survey has positive effects on response rates, what is less clear are the effects on survey estimates.

Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System RDD Telephone Surveys for a number of states, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rent (FMR) Regional RDD Telephone Surveys, ORC Macro conducted experiments whereby the company mailed advance letters to randomly selected households of the RDD telephone sample members where addresses could be ascertained, and then did not mail advance letters to the other listed and unlisted households. Initial analyses of the FMR survey data indicated that perhaps the increased costs and efforts to obtain these higher response rates did not significantly affect the statistic of interest -- the contract rental value for two bedroom apartments; what was less clear is if the increased response rate affected the bias of the estimate.

This paper seeks to thoroughly examine how the advance notification affects response and cooperation rates for these two different RDD telephone surveys by evaluating whether or not the apparent receipt of advance notification introduce any significant bias to the variables of interest; does it introduce a new source of error into estimates by increasing the potential representation of the list portion of the RDD telephone-sampling frame. To the extent that differences between the two survey experiments are found, this paper then goes on to consider how the surveys’ advertised content effects participation and results.

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