'Keeping in touch' on the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS)

Oliver Tatum and Angie Osborn, Office for National Statistics

Oliver Tatum and Angie Osborn

Attrition, Response, KITE, Engagement, Methods, Wealth, Assets,

The Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) provides the most comprehensive measures of private household wealth in Great Britain. As well as measuring levels of cross-sectional wealth, the longitudinal design of the survey allows analysts to examine how people’s levels of wealth change over time; alongside changes in the other circumstances of WAS respondents. WAS, which uses Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI), is currently in its fourth wave. The longitudinal design of the survey poses a number of challenges; not least the ability to maintain respondent engagement and accurate contact details for future waves of interviewing. To date, the primary method of contacting respondents between waves has been a short household telephone interview; know as the ‘Keep in Touch Exercise’ (KITE). An experiment was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the WAS KITE telephone interview, along with the introduction of a newsletter distributed between WAS waves. The experiment lasted for a period of 12 months between November 2010 and October 2011.

The experiment classified half of the participating households in wave three of the survey into one of four groups; 1) KITE contact; 2) Newsletter contact; 3) KITE and newsletter contact; 4) No contact. The impact on response rates and identification of ineligible addresses/movers for wave four was compared for these four groups in order to evaluate the most effective strategy for respondent contact between waves.

The results indicated some significant differences between the response rates and sample frame efficiency observed for these four groups in wave four. This presentation will explore the results of our analysis and how it has informed our future strategy for contacting respondents between Wealth and Assets Survey waves.