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Talk or Text? Evaluating Response Rates by Remote Survey Method during Covid-19

Sofia Amaral, Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Patricio Dominguez, Steffanny Romero and Santiago Perez-Vincent
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Lelys Dinarte Diaz

No 9517, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Researchers and policy makers face significant challenges in selecting a method to conduct remote surveys, especially when collecting sensitive information or during turbulent life stages of hard-to-reach groups. In the context of the COVID-19 lockdown, we randomly selected about 600 adults in El Salvador to survey using two different tools: telephone interviews or a self-completion survey via WhatsApp. We find that phone-based surveys increase the rate of survey completion by 42 percentage points. We document even larger effects for women and older adults. Although direct costs of phone-based surveys are substantially larger—doubling implementation cost—our estimates imply that when adjusted for the probability of completion, the costs of conducting phone-based surveys can be 25 percent lower.

Keywords: phone surveys; WhatsApp surveys; response rate; survey experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 C83 C93 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

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