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Mojca Bavdaž, Deirdre Giesen, Simona Korenjak Černe, Tora Löfgren and Virginie Raymond-Blaess

Abstract

Response burden in business surveys has long been a concern for National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) for three types of reasons: political reasons, because response burden is part of the total administrative burden governments impose on businesses; methodological reasons, because an excessive response burden may reduce data quality and increase data-collection costs; and strategic reasons, because it affects relations between the NSIs and the business community. This article investigates NSI practices concerning business response burden measurement and reduction actions based on a survey of 41 NSIs from 39 countries. Most NSIs monitor at least some burden aspects and have implemented some actions to reduce burden, but large differences exist between NSIs’ methodologies for burden measurement and actions taken to reduce burden. Future research should find ways to deal with methodological differences in burden conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement, and provide insights into the effectiveness and efficiency of burden-reduction actions.

Open access

Deirdre Giesen, Mario Vella, Charles F. Brady, Paul Brown, Daniela Ravindra and Anita Vaasen-Otten

Abstract

Managing response burden is key to ensuring an ongoing and efficient supply of fit-forpurpose data. While statistical organizations use multi-faceted approaches to achieve this, response burden management has become an essential element of the strategy used by the U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics New Zealand, Statistics Canada, and Statistics Netherlands. Working in collaboration with respondents, with internal resources dedicated to provide customized approaches for large respondents and with other stakeholders (constituency representatives, associations, etc.) response burden management endeavors to minimize burden and educate stakeholders on the benefit of official statistics. The role continues to evolve with important initiatives regarding the compilation of burden metrics, improvements to existing tracking tools, and an expanded communication role.