Online Program

Trying to improve response rates by lowering the perceived response burden of a survey
*Johan Erikson, Statistics Sweden 
Pia Hartwig, Statistics Sweden 

Keywords: response rates, response burden, participation

The register of occupations holds information on the occupation of all working persons between 16 and 64 years old. Most of the information in the register is collected from other sources and surveys, but an additional separate collection is carried out where no other source of information is available. This collects information from mainly small enterprises with only a few employees. The visceral perceived burden of this data provision is large even though the actual burden is small in most cases. This is partly due to receiving a large booklet with occupation codes to be used in finding the correct code for each employee. Response rates have been rather low and tend to be falling. Therefore, efforts have been made to reduce the perceived burden, both by steering respondents to report by web, using a built-in search function for occupation codes, and by using better introductory letters and reminders that point out that the actual work is probably much smaller than perceived. Several controlled experiments in the area have been carried out in 2011, the paper presents results from these experiments and discusses possible future work.