Contact time optimization in panel surveys

Oliver Lipps

Nº 2010-02



How to cite this article :

Lipps, O. (2010). Contact time optimization in panel surveys. FORS Working Paper Series, paper 2010-2. Lausanne: FORS.

A different version of this paper has meanwhile been published as :

Lipps, O. (2012). A Note on improving Contact Times in Panel Surveys. Field Methods 24 (1) : 95-111.

Keywords :

call data, paradata, CATI, calling time, call scheduler, random assignment

Abstract :

In the face of declining contact and response rates and with increasing costs of conducting surveys, many survey agencies resort to implementing contact strategies. As for obtaining contact in panel surveys as early as possible, without annoying people by calling at undesired times and ultimately causing a refusal, this means to implement call time strategies other than randomization of calls to individual households. In this research, we use call data from the Swiss Household panel, a centralized CATI panel survey with a randomized (experimental) call-household assignment. Using random effects models, we analyze efficiencies of obtaining initial contact by assigning optimal times to first calls, and times and spacing to second and later calls, depending on household socio-demography and prior call patterns. We conclude by giving some recommendations that may help to making early and successful contact during fieldwork.


© the authors 2018. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons License