Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Eisenberg says college athletes much less likely than other students to seek help with mental health conditions

Mitchell finds children who lose fathers suffer at cellular level

Seefeldt says hard work alone won't allow poor to reach middle-class status in America

More News

Highlights

Neal Krause wins GSA's Robert Kleemeier Award

U-M awarded $58 million to develop ideas for preventing and treating health problems

Bailey, Eisenberg , and Fomby promoted at PSC

Former PSC trainee Eric Chyn wins PAA's Dorothy S. Thomas Award for best paper

More Highlights

Eleanor Singer photo

Toward a Benefit-Cost Theory of Survey Participation: Evidence, Further Tests, and Implications

Publication Abstract

Singer, Eleanor. 2011. "Toward a Benefit-Cost Theory of Survey Participation: Evidence, Further Tests, and Implications." Journal of Official Statistics, 27(2): 379-392.

This article uses survey respondents' own reasons for participating or not participating in surveys, as well as experiments carried out over many years, to propose a benefit-cost theory of survey participation. The argument is that people choose to act, in surveys as in life, when, in their subjective calculus, the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. The process of reaching a decision may be carefully reasoned or it may proceed almost instantaneously, with the aid of heuristics. But regardless of the process, the outcome depends on a judgment that the benefits of acting outweigh the costs of doing so - even if, objectively speaking, the actors are badly informed and their decision leads to an undesirable outcome. The article reviews research on confidentiality assurances and risk perceptions with reference to a benefit-cost theory of behavior, and concludes by suggesting research to test the theory's predictions and by drawing testable implications for survey practice.

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next