Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research: An experimental study of static and dynamic contact design features
Web surveys have become increasingly central to innovation research but often suffer from low response rates. Based on a cost–benefits framework and the explicit consideration of heterogeneity across respondents, we consider the effects of key contact design features such as personalization, incentives, and the exact timing of survey contacts on web survey response rates. We also consider the benefits of a “dynamic strategy”, i.e., the approach to change features of survey contacts over the survey life cycle. We explore these effects experimentally using a career survey sent to over 24,000 junior scientists and engineers. The results show that personalization increases the odds of responding by as much as 48%, while lottery incentives with a high payoff and a low chance of winning increase the odds of responding by 30%. Furthermore, changing the wording of reminders over the survey life cycle increases the odds of a response by over 30%, while changes in contact timing (day of the week or hour of the day) did not have significant benefits. Improvements in response rates did not come at the expense of lower data quality. Our results provide novel insights into web survey response behavior and suggest useful tools for innovation researchers seeking to increase survey participation.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Elisabeth Deutskens & Ko de Ruyter & Martin Wetzels & Paul Oosterveld, 2004. "Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 21-36, 02.
- Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2011.
"Incentives and creativity: evidence from the academic life sciences,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 42(3), pages 527-554, 09.
- Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2009. "Incentives and Creativity: Evidence from the Academic Life Sciences," NBER Working Papers 15466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2009.
"Do All Material Incentives for Prosocial Activities Backfire? The Response to Cash and Non-Cash Incentives for Blood Donations,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2010. "Do all material incentives for pro-social activities backfire? The response to cash and non-cash incentives for blood donations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 738-748, August.
- Van Looy, Bart & Landoni, Paolo & Callaert, Julie & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & Sapsalis, Eleftherios & Debackere, Koenraad, 2011. "Entrepreneurial effectiveness of European universities: An empirical assessment of antecedents and trade-offs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 553-564, May.
- Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
- Henry Sauermann & Wesley M. Cohen, 2010. "What Makes Them Tick? Employee Motives and Firm Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(12), pages 2134-2153, December.
- Ding, Waverly & Choi, Emily, 2011. "Divergent paths to commercial science: A comparison of scientists' founding and advising activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 69-80, February.
- Edward P. Lazear, 2000.
"Performance Pay and Productivity,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
- Bruneel, Johan & D'Este, Pablo & Salter, Ammon, 2010. "Investigating the factors that diminish the barriers to university-industry collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 858-868, September.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Fini, Riccardo & Lacetera, Nicola & Shane, Scott, 2010. "Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1060-1069, October.
- Broström, Anders, 2010.
"Working with distant researchers--Distance and content in university-industry interaction,"
Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1311-1320, December.
- Broström, Anders, 2009. "Working with Distant Researchers - distance and content in university-industry interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 173, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
- Carolin Haeussler, 2010.
"Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study,"
Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data
154, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
- Haeussler, Carolin, 2011. "Information-sharing in academia and the industry: A comparative study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 105-122, February.
- Haeussler, Carolin, 2010. "Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study," MPRA Paper 24415, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Robert M. Groves & Steven G. Heeringa, 2006. "Responsive design for household surveys: tools for actively controlling survey errors and costs," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(3), pages 439-457.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:1:p:273-286. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.