Call Me Maybe: Experimental Evidence on Using Mobile Phones to Survey Microenterprises
49 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2016
Date Written: July 27, 2016
High-frequency data is useful to measure volatility, reduce recall bias, and measure dynamic treatment effects. We conduct the first experimental evaluation of high-frequency phone surveys in a developing country or with microenterprises. We randomly assign microenterprise owners to monthly in-person, weekly in-person, or weekly phone interviews. We find high-frequency phone surveys are useful and accurate. Phone and in-person surveys yield similar measurements, with few large or significant differences in reported outcome means or distributions. Neither interview frequency nor medium affects reported outcomes in a common in-person endline. Phone surveys reduce costs without increasing permanent attrition from the panel.
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