Survey Incentives

Last registered on April 01, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Survey Incentives
Initial registration date
July 17, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 20, 2020, 11:38 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
April 01, 2022, 11:03 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Harvard Business School

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Survey response rates are often low. To encourage survey completion, participants are sometimes offered financial incentives. In a survey of small business owners, this project explores the impact of incentives on survey responses. Business owners will be offered one of four treatments: (1) in the control group, business owners will receive a message encouraging them to complete the survey; (2) in the gift treatment, business owners will receive a similar message and will also be offered a gift card prior to starting the survey with no conditions attached; (3) in the incentives treatment ($25), business owners will be offered a similar message and also a gift card of the same dollar amount, but to be paid after survey completion (and conditional on completing the full survey); (4) the large incentives treatment ($50) is the same as (3) but with $50 instead of $25. We will analyze the survey response rates and survey completion rates under each condition, as well as the characteristics of businesses responding under each condition. We will also investigate messaging effects for repeat users in a panel survey and new users who are being recruited to join a panel. The experiment uses a partially adaptive design.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Cullen, Zoe , Michael Luca and Christopher Stanton. 2022. "Survey Incentives." AEA RCT Registry. April 01.
Experimental Details


We are conducting a multi-wave panel survey on small business owners’ perceptions and actions in the face of COVID-19. This research evaluates different inducements for survey participation.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes of interest are the response to the email by clicking through to the survey, survey completion in this wave, and differences in the distribution of user characteristics to complete the survey.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Time spent in the survey. Survey response and completion in future waves of the multi-wave survey. In the final survey in the Alignable pool, we will also look at measures of expressiveness and sentiment.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Please see details under intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
In office on computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials