Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.25, No.3, 2009. pp. 323–338

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Cooperation in Centralised CATI Household Panel Surveys – A Contact-based Multilevel Analysis to Examine Interviewer, Respondent, and Fieldwork Process Effects

In this research, we analyse the contact-specific mean of the final cooperation probability, distinguishing on the one hand between contacts with household reference persons and with other eligible household members, and on the other hand between first and later contacts. Data comes from two Swiss Household Panel surveys.

The interviewer-specific variance is higher for first contacts, especially in the case of the reference person. For later contacts with the reference person, the contact-specific variance dominates. This means that interaction effects and situational factors are decisive. The contact number has negative effects on the performance of contacts with the reference person, positive in the case of other persons. Also time elapsed since the previous contact has negative effects in the case of reference persons. The result of the previous contact has strong effects, especially in the case of the reference person. These findings call for a quick completion of the household grid questionnaire, assigning the best interviewers to conducting the first contact.

While obtaining refusals has negative effects, obtaining other contact results has only weak effects on the interviewer’s next contact outcome. Using the same interviewer for subsequent contacts has no positive effects.

Cross-classified, call data, random interviewer-respondent assignment

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