Refusal conversion in the second round of the European Social Survey

English title: Refusal conversion in the second round of the European Social Survey

Author(s): Koen Beullens - Leen Vandecasteele - Jaak Billiet -

Language: English

Type: Report, working paper

Year: 2007


In order to achieve an as high as possible data quality, the European Social Survey (ESS) supports contact procedures that lower non-response rates. Refusal conversion, as the re-approaching of initially reluctant respondents to persuade them to reconsider participating in the survey, is one of these procedures. Although there are some standard procedures provided by ESS, these prescriptions remain quite vague and there are big cross-national differences in the degree in which refusals were reapproached in the second ESS round. Also the degree in which these refusal conversion attempts result in a participation, differs a lot between the countries. In search for explanations, the reluctant respondents were compared to the cooperative respondents on a number of variables. Several significant differences could be found between cooperative and reluctant respondents, but these relations were different for each country. As such, there is no clear-cut profile of a cooperative and reluctant respondent that is valid in a European-wide context. This implies that the impact of refusal conversion on the reduction of cross-country non-response bias is rather limited. For the estimation and reduction of non-response bias, more research on the reluctant respondents has to be done.

Edition: 0

Institution: Centre for Sociological Research (CeSO)

Number of pages: 34

Number: 5

Series: Working paper Centre for Sociological Research (CeSO) - Survey Methodology

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