Six Waves of the European Social Survey
8. Is it worthwhile reducing the non-response rate by multiplied contact attempts? The example of ESS round 5 and 6 in Poland
8.1 The problem
The trend, observed in the 1980s and 1990s, indicating a falling response rate (de Leeuw/de Heer 2002) was aggravated towards the end of the 1990s and early 2000s (Curtin/Presser/Singer 2005) and continues until today, at least in some European countries. Seven out of 16 countries participating in all rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS) conducted to date (2002–2012) have seen a more or less significant decline in response rate, and it is important to remember that the ESS project is considered to be a benchmark in survey methodology. One spectacular example is Germany where, after a period of relative stabilisation at the level of approx. 50%, the response rate fell to approx. 30% in 2010 and 2012 (respectively: 30.5% and 33.8%).
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