Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.27, No.2, 2011. pp. 359377

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Interviewer Effects on Nonresponse in the European Social Survey

In face-to-face surveys interviewers play a crucial role in making contact with and gaining cooperation from sample units. While there are a few studies investigating the influence of interviewers on nonresponse, they are typically restricted to analyses within a single country. However, interviewer training, contacting and cooperation strategies as well as survey climates differ across countries, thus influencing differential nonresponse processes and possibly nonresponse biases. Combining call-record data from the European Social Survey (ESS) with data from a detailed interviewer questionnaire on attitudes and doorstep behavior, we analyze interviewer and country effects on nonresponse. Our findings show that there are systematic differences between countries in contacting and cooperation processes, which can in part be explained by differences in interviewer characteristics, such as contacting strategies and avowed doorstep behavior.

Contact, cooperation, interviewer attitudes, doorstep behavior, interviewer questionnaire, contact form, cross-cultural research, international surveys, paradata

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