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A large proportion of nonresponse in surveys is due to refusals, which occur when a request to participate in a survey is declined. Researchers are concerned about the effect of refusals because of the potential error that they can introduce in survey estimates.

A refusal report form (RRF) is a structured form used by interviewers immediately after a refusal is encountered. The employment of an RRF process produces valuable paradata and has three main benefits:

  • It can provide estimates of relevant parameters (e.g. refuser gender, race, age) that can be compared with the obtained sample to help determine the presence and impact of potential nonresponse bias.
  • It can provide valuable information that can help interviewers in subsequent contact attempts to convert these refusals into completed interviews.
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