ERIC Number: ED308224
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Monetary Gratuities in Survey Research: A Meta-Analysis of Their Effects on Response Rates.
Hopkins, Kenneth D.; Gullickson, Arlen R.
The effects of monetary gratuities on response rates to mail surveys have been considered in a number of studies. This meta-analysis examined: (1) the nature of the population surveyed; (2) the effects of gratuities in relation to the number of follow-ups; (3) whether the gratuity was equally effective across different populations; (4) whether the gratuity was promised or enclosed; and (5) the year of publication of the study. The bulk of the studies was done in the context of market research. Findings indicate that a monetary gratuity can be a powerful tool for decreasing non-response bias in mail surveys. Although follow-up mailings generally increased response rates in themselves, the gratuity typically had more impact than did an additional mailing. The gratuity was almost equally effective for professional and general populations. Enclosing the gratuity was more effective than was promising it upon return of the questionnaire. The year of publication had some effect in that the impact of the gratuity was slightly greater in earlier studies. The additional expense of the gratuity to improve response rates appeared cost-effective for most purposes. These findings have clear implications for survey practice. When differences in response with and without gratuities were found, they tended to show greater response integrity in the gratuity-receiving group. (SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A