This study aims to examine the extent of use of survey evidence in policymaking. It also aims to evaluate the relationship between incentives, response rates, representativeness of the sample, and data quality when implementing online surveys. The study has three main components. First, through document analysis of 18,566 legislative documents used to discuss 569 bills from 2000 to 2022, I assess the extent of the use of surveys in public policymaking in Hong Kong. Second, I conducted an experimental study that examines the effect of incentives on the response rate of large-scale online social surveys like the Hong Kong Generations and Gender Survey (HK-GGS). Lastly, through exploratory, in-depth analyses using HK-GGS survey data, I assess the quality of the data and the sample's representativeness. Overall, findings suggest that there is low uptake of survey in policymaking in Hong Kong, specifically in legislation. Findings also show that conducting a large-scale, address-based, randomly sampled, and purely online survey is plausible within the premise of giving incentives and considering all other factors. Findings showing higher response rates make the HK-GGS pilot data reliable.
Division of Public Policy (PPOL)