Using Behavioral Science to Improve Survey Response: An Experiment with the National Beneficiary Survey (In Focus Brief)

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Nov 27, 2017
Amy Johnson, Ryan Callahan, Jesse Chandler, and Jason Markesich

Key Finding:

  • The version of the letter using principles from behavioral science generated the highest percentage of call-ins.

This brief showcases how behavioral science can be used to boost call-in rates for surveys and increase our understanding of characteristics, experiences, and behaviors when administrative data sources don’t provide the kind of rich data we need. The study team made subtle changes to a letter mailed at the start of the study to determine whether a particular version was more effective at spurring sample members to complete the interview.