The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national face-to-face panel study of the process of population ageing. For the sixth wave of data collection, we applied an adaptive/responsive fieldwork design in the German sub-study of SHARE to test actual possibilities and effects of implementing targeted monitoring strategies during fieldwork. The central aim of this design was to improve panel sample representativeness by attempting to achieve more equal response probabilities across subgroups. However, our findings show that we only partly met this goal. Although our adaptive design (interviewer bonus incentives for 80+ respondents) indicated some positive effects, very old panelists still participated less than average in the end. Furthermore, our responsive design measure (contact schedule optimization for young, still working respondents) during fieldwork appeared to be complicated to implement within the regular fieldwork conditions and therefore ineffective. Overall, our results are hence in line with Tourangeau (2015), who argued that respondent characteristics that are suitable for responsive fieldwork measures might in fact be of limited use for true bias reduction.
01.02.2016 - 30.04.2020 / SHARE - Research
Responsive fieldwork design in the German sub-study of SHARE