Tom Guterbock: Modeling the Costs of RDD Telephone Interviewing in the United States

Lunch will be provided

Fri, Feb 24 12:00—1:00

New Cabell 398

This talk will describe a way of decomposing the per-interview cost of telephone interview data collection into distinct components. We will first review recent work by Dutwin and Lavrakas that probes the recent declines in telephone response rates and the associated increases in telephone survey costs. Applying the new decomposition technique to data from three waves of data collection on the costs and production statistics of dual-frame RDD telephone surveys, provided by a broad sample of North American survey organizations, we will examine how various cost factors affect the various components of interview cost within each type of sampling frame (cell phone vs. landline). The results provide a deeper understanding of how different study and sample characteristics affect the cost, show that a given factor may affect different cost components in countervailing ways, and provide us with a clearer understanding of how the cost ratio (per-interview cell cost/per-interview landline cost) is affected by various cost factors.