The authors run the first randomised controlled trial to compare microenterprise data from surveys of different frequency and medium. They randomly assign enterprises to monthly in-person, weekly in-person, or weekly phone panel surveys. Higher-frequency interviews have little effect on enterprise outcomes or reporting behaviour. They generate more data, capture short-term fluctuations, and may increase reporting accuracy. They result in lower response rates for each interview but do not increase permanent attrition from the panel. Conducting high-frequency interviews by phone, not in-person, lowers costs and has little effect on outcomes, attrition, or response rates, but induces slightly different reporting on some measures.
This research was funded under the Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) Programme
Garlick, R., Orkin, K. and Quinn, S. (2017) Call Me Maybe: Experimental Evidence on Using Mobile Phones to Survey Microenterprises, 42p
Garlick, R., Orkin, K. and Quinn, S. (2017) Call Me Maybe: Experimental Evidence on Using Mobile Phones to Survey Microenterprises, PEDL Research Note