Short-term impact of increasing the value of unconditional and conditional incentives in Understanding Society

Publication type

Understanding Society Working Paper Series

Series Number



Understanding Society Working Paper Series


Publication date

March 15, 2023


This paper explores the effect of increasing the value of survey incentives on response rates in the wave where the increase was applied using data from an experiment embedded in Wave 12 of Understanding Society. We also investigate whether the higher incentives prompted faster response, which could reduce survey costs, and examine whether the increase in response rates altered the sample profile. In the experiment, the treatment group received £20 incentives instead of the usual £10 received by the control group. The results show that the positive impact of the higher incentive is restricted to the previous wave nonrespondents from households where at least one other adult had completed the interview in the last wave.


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