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Abstract

Panel attrition poses major threats to the survey quality of panel studies. Many features have been introduced to keep panel attrition as low as possible. Based on a random sample of refugees, a highly mobile population, we investigate whether using a mobile phone application improves address quality and response behavior. Various features, including geo-tracking, collecting email addresses and adress changes, are tested. Additionally, we investigate respondent and interviewer effects on the consent to download the app and sharing GPS geo-positions. Our findings show that neither geo-tracking nor the provision of email addresses nor the collection of address changes through the app improves address quality substantially. We further show that interviewers play an important role in convincing the respondents to install and use the app, whereas respondent characteristics are largely insignificant. Our findings provide new insights into the usability of mobile phone applications and help determine whether they are a worthwhile tool to decrease panel attrition.