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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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INNOVATIONS IN
FEDERAL STATISTICS

Combining Data Sources While

Protecting Privacy

Panel on Improving Federal Statistics for
Policy and Social Science Research Using Multiple Data Sources and
State-of-the-Art Estimation Methods

Robert M. Groves and Brian A. Harris-Kojetin, Editors

Committee on National Statistics

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

A Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation with additional support from the National Academy of Sciences Kellogg Fund. Support for the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (award number SES-1024012). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-45428-5
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-45428-X
Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/24652

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
×
Image

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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PANEL ON IMPROVING FEDERAL STATISTICS FOR POLICY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH USING MULTIPLE DATA SOURCES AND STATE-OF-THE-ART ESTIMATION METHODS

ROBERT M. GROVES (Chair), Provost, Georgetown University

MICHAEL E. CHERNEW, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

PIET DAAS, Department of Corporate Services, Information Technology, and Methodology, Statistics Netherlands

CYNTHIA DWORK, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

OPHIR FRIEDER, Department of Computer Sciences, Georgetown University

HOSAGRAHAR V. JAGADISH, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan

FRAUKE KREUTER, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, and Statistics and Methodology, University of Mannheim and Institute for Employment Research

SHARON LOHR, Vice President, Westat, Rockville, Maryland

JAMES P. LYNCH, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland

COLM O’MUIRCHEARTAIGH, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago

TRIVELLORE RAGHUNATHAN, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

ROBERTO RIGOBON, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MARC ROTENBERG, President, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Washington, DC

BRIAN HARRIS-KOJETIN, Study Director

HERMANN HABERMANN, Senior Program Officer

GEORGE SCHOEFFEL, Research Assistant

AGNES GASKIN, Administrative Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS

LAWRENCE D. BROWN (Chair), Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

FRANCINE BLAU, Department of Economics, Cornell University

MARY ELLEN BOCK, Department of Statistics (Emerita), Purdue University

MICHAEL CHERNEW, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

JANET CURRIE, Department of Economics, Princeton University

DONALD DILLMAN, Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University

CONSTANTINE GATSONIS, Department of Biostatistics and Center for Statistical Sciences, Brown University

JAMES S. HOUSE, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

THOMAS MESENBOURG, U.S. Census Bureau (Retired)

SUSAN MURPHY, Department of Statistics and Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

SARAH NUSSER, Office of the Vice President for Research, Iowa State University

COLM O’MUIRCHEARTAIGH, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago

RUTH PETERSON, Criminal Justice Research Center, Ohio State University

ROBERTO RIGOBON, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

EDWARD SHORTLIFFE, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University and Arizona State University

CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director

BRIAN HARRIS-KOJETIN, Deputy Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
×

Acknowledgments

This report of the Panel on Improving Federal Statistics for Policy and Social Science Research Using Multiple Data Sources and State-of-the-Art Estimation Methods is the product of contributions from many colleagues, whom we thank for their generous sharing of their time and expertise.

The panel is grateful to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation for funding this study, and to foundation staff Stuart Buck and Meredith McPhail for their help and guidance throughout the study. The panel also is grateful for the supplemental funding provided by the National Academy of Sciences Kellogg Fund.

The panel thanks Katherine Wallman, recently retired chief statistician at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and the heads of the principal statistical agencies for their valuable insights: Mary Bohman, Economic Research Service; Peggy Carr, National Center for Education Statistics; John R. Gawalt, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics; Erica L. Groshen, Bureau of Labor Statistics; Hubert Hamer, National Agricultural Statistics Service; Patricia Hu, Bureau of Transportation Statistics; Barry Johnson, Statistics of Income Division of the Internal Revenue Service; Brian Moyer, Bureau of Economic Analysis; Jeri Mulrow, Bureau of Justice Statistics; John W.R. Phillips, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics in the Social Security Administration; Charles J. Rothwell, National Center for Health Statistics; Adam Sieminski, Energy Information Administration; and John H. Thompson, U.S. Census Bureau. Their contributions and support to the panel during our initial meeting as well as their support and encouragement throughout the study have been invaluable in helping the

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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panel understand the challenges and constraints that the federal statistical agencies face and their dedication to providing high-quality information for the public good.

The panel also thanks all the many individuals who participated in one or more of the panel’s three workshops. A list of the presenters at the workshops can be found in Appendix A. The panel also thanks Steve Eglash (Stanford University) for his work examining issues of data access for private-sector companies.

At the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the panel would not have been able to complete its work efficiently without a capable staff. Connie Citro, director of the Committee on National Statistics, had the vision and perseverance to make this study a reality. Mary Ellen O’Connell, director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and Robert Hauser, previous director of the division, provided both institutional leadership and substantive insights. The division’s Kirsten Sampson-Snyder was extremely helpful in coordinating the review process, and Eugenia Grohman provided meticulous and thorough editing that greatly improved the readability of the report.

For the Committee on National Statistics, both Agnes Gaskin, administrative assistant, and Anthony Mann, program coordinator, provided considerable assistance in managing the logistics of this panel and their meetings in various geographic and institutional locations. Hermann Habermann, senior program officer, provided valuable feedback and guidance on drafts of this report, and George Schoeffel, research assistant, cheerfully assisted with every aspect of the study, performing countless tasks to make this report possible. Most critically, Brian Harris-Kojetin served as study director and not only kept the panel focused on the relevant tasks at hand, but also provided much expertise in the report and responded to the many comments and questions from panel members and reviewers. Without his technical skill, organizational skill, and insight, this report would not nearly be what it is currently.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets the institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of the report: John M. Abowd, research and methodology, U.S. Census Bureau; Cynthia Z.F. Clark, independent consultant, McLean, Virginia; Arthur B. Kennickell, research and statistics, Board of Governors of the

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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Federal Reserve System; Partha Lahiri, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland; Thomas A. Louis, Department of Biostatistics, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University; Nancy Mathiowetz, Department of Sociology (emerita), University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Thomas L. Mesenbourg, U.S. Census Bureau (retired); and Alan M. Zaslavsky, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael Hout, Department of Sociology, New York University, and Alicia L. Carriquiry, Department of Statistics and Sciences, Iowa State University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and institution.

Robert M. Groves, Chair
Panel on Improving Federal Statistics for
Policy and Social Science Research
Using Multiple Data Sources and
State-of-the-Art Estimation Methods

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Innovations in Federal Statistics: Combining Data Sources While Protecting Privacy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24652.
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Federal government statistics provide critical information to the country and serve a key role in a democracy. For decades, sample surveys with instruments carefully designed for particular data needs have been one of the primary methods for collecting data for federal statistics. However, the costs of conducting such surveys have been increasing while response rates have been declining, and many surveys are not able to fulfill growing demands for more timely information and for more detailed information at state and local levels.

Innovations in Federal Statistics examines the opportunities and risks of using government administrative and private sector data sources to foster a paradigm shift in federal statistical programs that would combine diverse data sources in a secure manner to enhance federal statistics. This first publication of a two-part series discusses the challenges faced by the federal statistical system and the foundational elements needed for a new paradigm.

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