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The long-term effectiveness of refusal conversion procedures on longitudinal surveys


  • Burton, Jonathan
  • Laurie, Heather
  • Lynn, Peter


Survey organisations often attempt to 'convert' sample members who refuse to take part in a survey. Persuasive techniques are used in an effort to get the refusers to change their mind and agree to an interview. This is done in order to improve response rate and, possibly, to reduce non-response bias. However, refusal conversion attempts are expensive and must be justified. Previous studies of the effects of refusal conversion attempts are few and have been restricted to cross-sectional surveys. The criteria for 'success' of a refusal conversion attempt are different in the case of a longitudinal survey, where for many purposes the researcher requires complete data over multiple waves. This paper uses data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) from 1994 to 2002 to assess the long term effectiveness of refusal conversion procedures in terms of sample sizes, sample composition and data quality.

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  • Burton, Jonathan & Laurie, Heather & Lynn, Peter, 2004. "The long-term effectiveness of refusal conversion procedures on longitudinal surveys," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2004-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. F. Thomas Juster & Richard Suzman, 1995. " An Overview of the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s7-s56.
    2. Lynn, Peter & Clarke, Paul, 2001. "Separating refusal bias and non-contact bias: evidence from UK national surveys," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-24, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pudney, Stephen & Watson, Nicole, 2013. "If at first you don't succeed? Fieldwork, panel attrition, and health-employment inferences in BHPS and HILDA," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-27, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Laura Fumagalli & Heather Laurie & Peter Lynn, 2013. "Experiments with methods to reduce attrition in longitudinal surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(2), pages 499-519, February.
    3. Jörg-Peter Schräpler & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2013. "Conversion of Non-Respondents in an Ongoing Panel Survey: The Case of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 626, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Adrian Chadi, 2014. "Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201403, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    5. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2011. "Re-engaging with Survey Non-respondents: The BHPS, SOEP and HILDA Survey Experience," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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