Combining synthetic data with subsampling to create public use microdata files for large scale surveys - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 12-001-X201200111687


To create public use files from large scale surveys, statistical agencies sometimes release random subsamples of the original records. Random subsampling reduces file sizes for secondary data analysts and reduces risks of unintended disclosures of survey participants' confidential information. However, subsampling does not eliminate risks, so that alteration of the data is needed before dissemination. We propose to create disclosure-protected subsamples from large scale surveys based on multiple imputation. The idea is to replace identifying or sensitive values in the original sample with draws from statistical models, and release subsamples of the disclosure-protected data. We present methods for making inferences with the multiple synthetic subsamples.

Issue Number: 2012001
Author(s): Reiter, J.P.

Main Product: Survey Methodology

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PDFJune 27, 2012