Bart Meuleman, Arnim Langer, Annelies G. Blom
Can Incentive Effects be Generalized to Non-Western Countries? Conditional and Unconditional Cash Incentives in a Web Survey of Ghanaian University Students

Social Science Computer Review, 2018: 36, Heft 2, S. 231–250
ISSN: 0894-4393 (print); 1552-8286 (online)

Because research on the impact of web survey incentives has exclusively focused on Western settings, it is unclear to what extent current insights translate and generalize to non-Western societies, which are usually characterized by very different economic conditions, cultural traditions, and survey climates. The current article presents the results of a web survey incentives experiment among almost 4,440 Ghanaian university students who were offered conditional and unconditional incentives of different values (in the form of telephone credit). Our analyses partly replicate Western findings: Higher value incentives produce higher participation rates and unconditional incentives outperform conditional ones in the lower value conditions. In the case of relatively high incentives, however, conditional outperforms unconditional incentives. No differential effects of incentives on response quality were found.