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Reaching Hard-to-Survey Populations: Mode Choice and Mode Preference

Marieke Haan
  • University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, PO BOX 716 Groningen 9700 AS, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Email:
/ Yfke P. Ongena
  • University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, PO BOX 716 Groningen 9700 AS, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Email:
/ Kees Aarts
  • University of Twente – Political Science and Research Methods, PO Box 217, Enschede 7522, AE Overijssel, the Netherlands.
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-05-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0021


This study assesses the effect of response-mode choices on response rates, and responsemode preferences of hard-to-survey populations: young adults, full-time workers, big city inhabitants, and non-Western immigrants. Using address-based sampling, a stratified sample of 3,496 households was selected. The first group of sample members was contacted face to face and could choose between a CAPI and web response mode. The second group, contacted by telephone, could choose between CATI and web. The third group, contacted by telephone, was randomly allocated to a response mode. Our address-based sampling technique was successful in reaching most of the hard-to-survey groups. Insufficient numbers of non- Western immigrants were reached; therefore this group was excluded from our analyses. In our mixed-effect models, no significant effects on the willingness to participate were found for mode choice. We found that full-time workers and young adults were significantly more likely to choose web over CAPI when contacted face to face.

Keywords: Hard-to-survey groups; response-mode choice; mixed mode experiment


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About the article

Received: 2013-02-01

Accepted: 2014-01-01

Published Online: 2014-05-08

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Journal of Official Statistics, ISSN (Online) 2001-7367, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jos-2014-0021. Export Citation

© by Marieke Haan. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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