Does benefit framing improve record linkage consent rates? A survey experiment


Sakshaug, Joseph W. ; Stegmaier, Jens ; Trappmann, Mark ; Kreuter, Frauke


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18148/srm/2019.v13i3.7391
URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/58638
Additional URL: https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/srm/article/view/73...
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-586382
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2019
The title of a journal, publication series: Survey Research Methods : SRM
Volume: 13
Issue number: 3
Page range: 289-304
Place of publication: Konstanz
Publishing house: European Survey Research Assoc.
ISSN: 1864-3361
Related URLs:
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department A
School of Social Sciences > Statistik u. Sozialwissenschaftliche Methodenlehre (Kreuter 2014-2020)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Survey researchers are increasingly seeking opportunities to link interview data with administrative records. However, obtaining consent from all survey respondents (or certain subgroups) remains a barrier to performing record linkage in many studies. We experimentally investigated whether emphasizing different benefits of record linkage to respondents in a telephone survey of employee working conditions improves respondents’ willingness to consent to linkage of employment administrative records relative to a neutral consent request. We found that emphasizing linkage benefits related to “time savings” yielded a small, albeit statistically significant, improvement in the overall linkage consent rate (86.0) relative to the neutral consent request (83.8 percent). The time savings argument was particularly effective among “busy” respondents. A second benefit argument related to “improved study value” did not yield a statistically significant improvement in the linkage consent rate (84.4 percent) relative to the neutral request. This benefit argument was also ineffective among the subgroup of respondents considered to be most likely to have a self-interest in the study outcomes. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the practical implications of these findings and offers suggestions for possible research extensions.

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