# Inference and foundations

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- Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014759Description:
Many of the challenges and opportunities of modern data science have to do with dynamic aspects: evolving populations, the growing volume of administrative and commercial data on individuals and establishments, continuous flows of data and the capacity to analyze and summarize them in real time, and the deterioration of data absent the resources to maintain them. With its emphasis on data quality and supportable results, the domain of Official Statistics is ideal for highlighting statistical and data science issues in a variety of contexts. The messages of the talk include the importance of population frames and their maintenance; the potential for use of multi-frame methods and linkages; how the use of large scale non-survey data as auxiliary information shapes the objects of inference; the complexity of models for large data sets; the importance of recursive methods and regularization; and the benefits of sophisticated data visualization tools in capturing change.

Release date: 2016-03-24 - Articles and reports: 11-522-X201300014251Description:
I present a modeller's perspective on the current status quo in official statistics surveys-based inference. In doing so, I try to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the design and model-based inferential positions that survey sampling, at least as far as the official statistics world is concerned, finds itself at present. I close with an example from adaptive survey design that illustrates why taking a model-based perspective (either frequentist or Bayesian) represents the best way for official statistics to avoid the debilitating 'inferential schizophrenia' that seems inevitable if current methodologies are applied to the emerging information requirements of today's world (and possibly even tomorrow's).

Release date: 2014-10-31 - Articles and reports: 11-522-X201300014252Description:
Although estimating finite populations characteristics from probability samples has been very successful for large samples, inferences from non-probability samples may also be possible. Non-probability samples have been criticized due to self-selection bias and the lack of methods for estimating the precision of the estimates. The wide spread access to the Web and the ability to do very inexpensive data collection on the Web has reinvigorated interest in this topic. We review of non-probability sampling strategies and summarize some of the key issues. We then propose conditions under which non-probability sampling may be a reasonable approach. We conclude with ideas for future research.

Release date: 2014-10-31 - 14. The Potential Use of Remote Sensing to Produce Field Crop Statistics at Statistics Canada ArchivedSurveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X201300014259Description:
In an effort to reduce response burden on farm operators, Statistics Canada is studying alternative approaches to telephone surveys for producing field crop estimates. One option is to publish harvested area and yield estimates in September as is currently done, but to calculate them using models based on satellite and weather data, and data from the July telephone survey. However before adopting such an approach, a method must be found which produces estimates with a sufficient level of accuracy. Research is taking place to investigate different possibilities. Initial research results and issues to consider are discussed in this paper.

Release date: 2014-10-31 - Articles and reports: 11-522-X201300014280Description:
During the last decade, web panel surveys have been established as a fast and cost-efficient method in market surveys. The rationale for this is new developments in information technology, in particular the continued rapid growth of internet and computer use among the public. Also growing nonresponse rates and prices forced down in the survey industry lie behind this change. However, there are some serious inherent risks connected with web panel surveys, not least selection bias due to the self-selection of respondents. There are also risks of coverage and measurement errors. The absence of an inferential framework and of data quality indicators is an obstacle against using the web panel approach for high-quality statistics about general populations. Still, there seems to be increasing challenges for some national statistical institutes by a new form of competition for ad hoc statistics and even official statistics from web panel surveys.This paper explores the question of design and use of web panels in a scientifically sound way. An outline is given of a standard from the Swedish Survey Society for performance metrics to assess some quality aspects of results from web panel surveys. Decomposition of bias and mitigation of bias risks are discussed in some detail. Some ideas are presented for combining web panel surveys and traditional surveys to achieve controlled cost-efficient inference.

Release date: 2014-10-31 - Articles and reports: 12-001-X201400114004Description:
In 2009, two major surveys in the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau were redesigned to reduce sample size, save resources, and improve the precision of the estimates (Cheng, Corcoran, Barth and Hogue 2009). The new design divides each of the traditional state by government-type strata with sufficiently many units into two sub-strata according to each governmental unit’s total payroll, in order to sample less from the sub-stratum with small size units. The model-assisted approach is adopted in estimating population totals. Regression estimators using auxiliary variables are obtained either within each created sub-stratum or within the original stratum by collapsing two sub-strata. A decision-based method was proposed in Cheng, Slud and Hogue (2010), applying a hypothesis test to decide which regression estimator is used within each original stratum. Consistency and asymptotic normality of these model-assisted estimators are established here, under a design-based or model-assisted asymptotic framework. Our asymptotic results also suggest two types of consistent variance estimators, one obtained by substituting unknown quantities in the asymptotic variances and the other by applying the bootstrap. The performance of all the estimators of totals and of their variance estimators are examined in some empirical studies. The U.S. Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll (ASPEP) is used to motivate and illustrate our study.

Release date: 2014-06-27 - 17. A weighted composite likelihood approach to inference for two-level models from survey dataArchivedSurveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201300211887Description:
Multi-level models are extensively used for analyzing survey data with the design hierarchy matching the model hierarchy. We propose a unified approach, based on a design-weighted log composite likelihood, for two-level models that leads to design-model consistent estimators of the model parameters even when the within cluster sample sizes are small provided the number of sample clusters is large. This method can handle both linear and generalized linear two-level models and it requires level 2 and level 1 inclusion probabilities and level 1 joint inclusion probabilities, where level 2 represents a cluster and level 1 an element within a cluster. Results of a simulation study demonstrating superior performance of the proposed method relative to existing methods under informative sampling are also reported.

Release date: 2014-01-15 - Articles and reports: 82-003-X201300611796Geography: CanadaDescription:
The study assesses the feasibility of using statistical modelling techniques to fill information gaps related to risk factors, specifically, smoking status, in linked long-form census data.

Release date: 2013-06-19 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201200211758Description:
This paper develops two Bayesian methods for inference about finite population quantiles of continuous survey variables from unequal probability sampling. The first method estimates cumulative distribution functions of the continuous survey variable by fitting a number of probit penalized spline regression models on the inclusion probabilities. The finite population quantiles are then obtained by inverting the estimated distribution function. This method is quite computationally demanding. The second method predicts non-sampled values by assuming a smoothly-varying relationship between the continuous survey variable and the probability of inclusion, by modeling both the mean function and the variance function using splines. The two Bayesian spline-model-based estimators yield a desirable balance between robustness and efficiency. Simulation studies show that both methods yield smaller root mean squared errors than the sample-weighted estimator and the ratio and difference estimators described by Rao, Kovar, and Mantel (RKM 1990), and are more robust to model misspecification than the regression through the origin model-based estimator described in Chambers and Dunstan (1986). When the sample size is small, the 95% credible intervals of the two new methods have closer to nominal confidence coverage than the sample-weighted estimator.

Release date: 2012-12-19 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201200111688Description:
We study the problem of nonignorable nonresponse in a two dimensional contingency table which can be constructed for each of several small areas when there is both item and unit nonresponse. In general, the provision for both types of nonresponse with small areas introduces significant additional complexity in the estimation of model parameters. For this paper, we conceptualize the full data array for each area to consist of a table for complete data and three supplemental tables for missing row data, missing column data, and missing row and column data. For nonignorable nonresponse, the total cell probabilities are allowed to vary by area, cell and these three types of "missingness". The underlying cell probabilities (i.e., those which would apply if full classification were always possible) for each area are generated from a common distribution and their similarity across the areas is parametrically quantified. Our approach is an extension of the selection approach for nonignorable nonresponse investigated by Nandram and Choi (2002a, b) for binary data; this extension creates additional complexity because of the multivariate nature of the data coupled with the small area structure. As in that earlier work, the extension is an expansion model centered on an ignorable nonresponse model so that the total cell probability is dependent upon which of the categories is the response. Our investigation employs hierarchical Bayesian models and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods for posterior inference. The models and methods are illustrated with data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Release date: 2012-06-27

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## Analysis (69)

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- Articles and reports: 12-001-X201800254956Description:
In Italy, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) is conducted quarterly by the National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) to produce estimates of the labor force status of the population at different geographical levels. In particular, ISTAT provides LFS estimates of employed and unemployed counts for local Labor Market Areas (LMAs). LMAs are 611 sub-regional clusters of municipalities and are unplanned domains for which direct estimates have overly large sampling errors. This implies the need of Small Area Estimation (SAE) methods. In this paper, we develop a new area level SAE method that uses a Latent Markov Model (LMM) as linking model. In LMMs, the characteristic of interest, and its evolution in time, is represented by a latent process that follows a Markov chain, usually of first order. Therefore, areas are allowed to change their latent state across time. The proposed model is applied to quarterly data from the LFS for the period 2004 to 2014 and fitted within a hierarchical Bayesian framework using a data augmentation Gibbs sampler. Estimates are compared with those obtained by the classical Fay-Herriot model, by a time-series area level SAE model, and on the basis of data coming from the 2011 Population Census.

Release date: 2018-12-20 - Articles and reports: 12-001-X201800154928Description:
A two-phase process was used by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to estimate the proportion of US adults with serious mental illness (SMI). The first phase was the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), while the second phase was a random subsample of adult respondents to the NSDUH. Respondents to the second phase of sampling were clinically evaluated for serious mental illness. A logistic prediction model was fit to this subsample with the SMI status (yes or no) determined by the second-phase instrument treated as the dependent variable and related variables collected on the NSDUH from all adults as the model’s explanatory variables. Estimates were then computed for SMI prevalence among all adults and within adult subpopulations by assigning an SMI status to each NSDUH respondent based on comparing his (her) estimated probability of having SMI to a chosen cut point on the distribution of the predicted probabilities. We investigate alternatives to this standard cut point estimator such as the probability estimator. The latter assigns an estimated probability of having SMI to each NSDUH respondent. The estimated prevalence of SMI is the weighted mean of those estimated probabilities. Using data from NSDUH and its subsample, we show that, although the probability estimator has a smaller mean squared error when estimating SMI prevalence among all adults, it has a greater tendency to be biased at the subpopulation level than the standard cut point estimator.

Release date: 2018-06-21 - Articles and reports: 12-001-X201700254872Description:
This note discusses the theoretical foundations for the extension of the Wilson two-sided coverage interval to an estimated proportion computed from complex survey data. The interval is shown to be asymptotically equivalent to an interval derived from a logistic transformation. A mildly better version is discussed, but users may prefer constructing a one-sided interval already in the literature.

Release date: 2017-12-21 - Articles and reports: 12-001-X201700114822Description:
We use a Bayesian method to infer about a finite population proportion when binary data are collected using a two-fold sample design from small areas. The two-fold sample design has a two-stage cluster sample design within each area. A former hierarchical Bayesian model assumes that for each area the first stage binary responses are independent Bernoulli distributions, and the probabilities have beta distributions which are parameterized by a mean and a correlation coefficient. The means vary with areas but the correlation is the same over areas. However, to gain some flexibility we have now extended this model to accommodate different correlations. The means and the correlations have independent beta distributions. We call the former model a homogeneous model and the new model a heterogeneous model. All hyperparameters have proper noninformative priors. An additional complexity is that some of the parameters are weakly identified making it difficult to use a standard Gibbs sampler for computation. So we have used unimodal constraints for the beta prior distributions and a blocked Gibbs sampler to perform the computation. We have compared the heterogeneous and homogeneous models using an illustrative example and simulation study. As expected, the two-fold model with heterogeneous correlations is preferred.

Release date: 2017-06-22 - Articles and reports: 12-001-X201600214662Description:
Two-phase sampling designs are often used in surveys when the sampling frame contains little or no auxiliary information. In this note, we shed some light on the concept of invariance, which is often mentioned in the context of two-phase sampling designs. We define two types of invariant two-phase designs: strongly invariant and weakly invariant two-phase designs. Some examples are given. Finally, we describe the implications of strong and weak invariance from an inference point of view.

Release date: 2016-12-20 - Articles and reports: 12-001-X201600114545Description:
The estimation of quantiles is an important topic not only in the regression framework, but also in sampling theory. A natural alternative or addition to quantiles are expectiles. Expectiles as a generalization of the mean have become popular during the last years as they not only give a more detailed picture of the data than the ordinary mean, but also can serve as a basis to calculate quantiles by using their close relationship. We show, how to estimate expectiles under sampling with unequal probabilities and how expectiles can be used to estimate the distribution function. The resulting fitted distribution function estimator can be inverted leading to quantile estimates. We run a simulation study to investigate and compare the efficiency of the expectile based estimator.

Release date: 2016-06-22 - 7. Methodological Challenges in Official Statistics ArchivedArticles and reports: 11-522-X201700014704Description:
We identify several research areas and topics for methodological research in official statistics. We argue why these are important, and why these are the most important ones for official statistics. We describe the main topics in these research areas and sketch what seems to be the most promising ways to address them. Here we focus on: (i) Quality of National accounts, in particular the rate of growth of GNI (ii) Big data, in particular how to create representative estimates and how to make the most of big data when this is difficult or impossible. We also touch upon: (i) Increasing timeliness of preliminary and final statistical estimates (ii) Statistical analysis, in particular of complex and coherent phenomena. These topics are elements in the present Strategic Methodological Research Program that has recently been adopted at Statistics Netherlands

Release date: 2016-03-24 - 8. Big Data: A Survey Research PerspectiveArchivedArticles and reports: 11-522-X201700014713Description:
Big data is a term that means different things to different people. To some, it means datasets so large that our traditional processing and analytic systems can no longer accommodate them. To others, it simply means taking advantage of existing datasets of all sizes and finding ways to merge them with the goal of generating new insights. The former view poses a number of important challenges to traditional market, opinion, and social research. In either case, there are implications for the future of surveys that are only beginning to be explored.

Release date: 2016-03-24 - Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014727Description:
"Probability samples of near-universal frames of households and persons, administered standardized measures, yielding long multivariate data records, and analyzed with statistical procedures reflecting the design – these have been the cornerstones of the empirical social sciences for 75 years. That measurement structure have given the developed world almost all of what we know about our societies and their economies. The stored survey data form a unique historical record. We live now in a different data world than that in which the leadership of statistical agencies and the social sciences were raised. High-dimensional data are ubiquitously being produced from Internet search activities, mobile Internet devices, social media, sensors, retail store scanners, and other devices. Some estimate that these data sources are increasing in size at the rate of 40% per year. Together their sizes swamp that of the probability-based sample surveys. Further, the state of sample surveys in the developed world is not healthy. Falling rates of survey participation are linked with ever-inflated costs of data collection. Despite growing needs for information, the creation of new survey vehicles is hampered by strained budgets for official statistical agencies and social science funders. These combined observations are unprecedented challenges for the basic paradigm of inference in the social and economic sciences. This paper discusses alternative ways forward at this moment in history. "

Release date: 2016-03-24 - Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014738Description:
In the standard design approach to missing observations, the construction of weight classes and calibration are used to adjust the design weights for the respondents in the sample. Here we use these adjusted weights to define a Dirichlet distribution which can be used to make inferences about the population. Examples show that the resulting procedures have better performance properties than the standard methods when the population is skewed.

Release date: 2016-03-24

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## Reference (16)

## Reference (16) (0 to 10 of 16 results)

- 1. The Potential Use of Remote Sensing to Produce Field Crop Statistics at Statistics Canada ArchivedSurveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X201300014259Description:
In an effort to reduce response burden on farm operators, Statistics Canada is studying alternative approaches to telephone surveys for producing field crop estimates. One option is to publish harvested area and yield estimates in September as is currently done, but to calculate them using models based on satellite and weather data, and data from the July telephone survey. However before adopting such an approach, a method must be found which produces estimates with a sufficient level of accuracy. Research is taking place to investigate different possibilities. Initial research results and issues to consider are discussed in this paper.

Release date: 2014-10-31 - 2. A weighted composite likelihood approach to inference for two-level models from survey dataArchivedSurveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201300211887Description:
Multi-level models are extensively used for analyzing survey data with the design hierarchy matching the model hierarchy. We propose a unified approach, based on a design-weighted log composite likelihood, for two-level models that leads to design-model consistent estimators of the model parameters even when the within cluster sample sizes are small provided the number of sample clusters is large. This method can handle both linear and generalized linear two-level models and it requires level 2 and level 1 inclusion probabilities and level 1 joint inclusion probabilities, where level 2 represents a cluster and level 1 an element within a cluster. Results of a simulation study demonstrating superior performance of the proposed method relative to existing methods under informative sampling are also reported.

Release date: 2014-01-15 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201200211758Description:
This paper develops two Bayesian methods for inference about finite population quantiles of continuous survey variables from unequal probability sampling. The first method estimates cumulative distribution functions of the continuous survey variable by fitting a number of probit penalized spline regression models on the inclusion probabilities. The finite population quantiles are then obtained by inverting the estimated distribution function. This method is quite computationally demanding. The second method predicts non-sampled values by assuming a smoothly-varying relationship between the continuous survey variable and the probability of inclusion, by modeling both the mean function and the variance function using splines. The two Bayesian spline-model-based estimators yield a desirable balance between robustness and efficiency. Simulation studies show that both methods yield smaller root mean squared errors than the sample-weighted estimator and the ratio and difference estimators described by Rao, Kovar, and Mantel (RKM 1990), and are more robust to model misspecification than the regression through the origin model-based estimator described in Chambers and Dunstan (1986). When the sample size is small, the 95% credible intervals of the two new methods have closer to nominal confidence coverage than the sample-weighted estimator.

Release date: 2012-12-19 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201200111688Description:
We study the problem of nonignorable nonresponse in a two dimensional contingency table which can be constructed for each of several small areas when there is both item and unit nonresponse. In general, the provision for both types of nonresponse with small areas introduces significant additional complexity in the estimation of model parameters. For this paper, we conceptualize the full data array for each area to consist of a table for complete data and three supplemental tables for missing row data, missing column data, and missing row and column data. For nonignorable nonresponse, the total cell probabilities are allowed to vary by area, cell and these three types of "missingness". The underlying cell probabilities (i.e., those which would apply if full classification were always possible) for each area are generated from a common distribution and their similarity across the areas is parametrically quantified. Our approach is an extension of the selection approach for nonignorable nonresponse investigated by Nandram and Choi (2002a, b) for binary data; this extension creates additional complexity because of the multivariate nature of the data coupled with the small area structure. As in that earlier work, the extension is an expansion model centered on an ignorable nonresponse model so that the total cell probability is dependent upon which of the categories is the response. Our investigation employs hierarchical Bayesian models and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods for posterior inference. The models and methods are illustrated with data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Release date: 2012-06-27 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201100211603Description:
In many sample surveys there are items requesting binary response (e.g., obese, not obese) from a number of small areas. Inference is required about the probability for a positive response (e.g., obese) in each area, the probability being the same for all individuals in each area and different across areas. Because of the sparseness of the data within areas, direct estimators are not reliable, and there is a need to use data from other areas to improve inference for a specific area. Essentially, a priori the areas are assumed to be similar, and a hierarchical Bayesian model, the standard beta-binomial model, is a natural choice. The innovation is that a practitioner may have much-needed additional prior information about a linear combination of the probabilities. For example, a weighted average of the probabilities is a parameter, and information can be elicited about this parameter, thereby making the Bayesian paradigm appropriate. We have modified the standard beta-binomial model for small areas to incorporate the prior information on the linear combination of the probabilities, which we call a constraint. Thus, there are three cases. The practitioner (a) does not specify a constraint, (b) specifies a constraint and the parameter completely, and (c) specifies a constraint and information which can be used to construct a prior distribution for the parameter. The griddy Gibbs sampler is used to fit the models. To illustrate our method, we use an example on obesity of children in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in which the small areas are formed by crossing school (middle, high), ethnicity (white, black, Mexican) and gender (male, female). We use a simulation study to assess some of the statistical features of our method. We have shown that the gain in precision beyond (a) is in the order with (b) larger than (c).

Release date: 2011-12-21 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201000111250Description:
We propose a Bayesian Penalized Spline Predictive (BPSP) estimator for a finite population proportion in an unequal probability sampling setting. This new method allows the probabilities of inclusion to be directly incorporated into the estimation of a population proportion, using a probit regression of the binary outcome on the penalized spline of the inclusion probabilities. The posterior predictive distribution of the population proportion is obtained using Gibbs sampling. The advantages of the BPSP estimator over the Hájek (HK), Generalized Regression (GR), and parametric model-based prediction estimators are demonstrated by simulation studies and a real example in tax auditing. Simulation studies show that the BPSP estimator is more efficient, and its 95% credible interval provides better confidence coverage with shorter average width than the HK and GR estimators, especially when the population proportion is close to zero or one or when the sample is small. Compared to linear model-based predictive estimators, the BPSP estimators are robust to model misspecification and influential observations in the sample.

Release date: 2010-06-29 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-002-X20040027035Description:
As part of the processing of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) cycle 4 data, historical revisions have been made to the data of the first 3 cycles, either to correct errors or to update the data. During processing, particular attention was given to the PERSRUK (Person Identifier) and the FIELDRUK (Household Identifier). The same level of attention has not been given to the other identifiers that are included in the data base, the CHILDID (Person identifier) and the _IDHD01 (Household identifier). These identifiers have been created for the public files and can also be found in the master files by default. The PERSRUK should be used to link records between files and the FIELDRUK to determine the household when using the master files.

Release date: 2004-10-05 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 13F0026M2001003Description:
Initial results from the Survey of Financial Security (SFS), which provides information on the net worth of Canadians, were released on March 15 2001, in The daily. The survey collected information on the value of the financial and non-financial assets owned by each family unit and on the amount of their debt.

Statistics Canada is currently refining this initial estimate of net worth by adding to it an estimate of the value of benefits accrued in employer pension plans. This is an important addition to any asset and debt survey as, for many family units, it is likely to be one of the largest assets. With the aging of the population, information on pension accumulations is greatly needed to better understand the financial situation of those nearing retirement. These updated estimates of the Survey of Financial Security will be released in late fall 2001.

The process for estimating the value of employer pension plan benefits is a complex one. This document describes the methodology for estimating that value, for the following groups: a) persons who belonged to an RPP at the time of the survey (referred to as current plan members); b) persons who had previously belonged to an RPP and either left the money in the plan or transferred it to a new plan; c) persons who are receiving RPP benefits.

This methodology was proposed by Hubert Frenken and Michael Cohen. The former has many years of experience with Statistics Canada working with data on employer pension plans; the latter is a principal with the actuarial consulting firm William M. Mercer. Earlier this year, Statistics Canada carried out a public consultation on the proposed methodology. This report includes updates made as a result of feedback received from data users.

Release date: 2001-09-05 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 13F0026M2001002Description:
The Survey of Financial Security (SFS) will provide information on the net worth of Canadians. In order to do this, information was collected - in May and June 1999 - on the value of the assets and debts of each of the families or unattached individuals in the sample. The value of one particular asset is not easy to determine, or to estimate. That is the present value of the amount people have accrued in their employer pension plan. These plans are often called registered pension plans (RPP), as they must be registered with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Although some RPP members receive estimates of the value of their accrued benefit, in most cases plan members would not know this amount. However, it is likely to be one of the largest assets for many family units. And, as the baby boomers approach retirement, information on their pension accumulations is much needed to better understand their financial readiness for this transition.

The intent of this paper is to: present, for discussion, a methodology for estimating the present value of employer pension plan benefits for the Survey of Financial Security; and to seek feedback on the proposed methodology. This document proposes a methodology for estimating the value of employer pension plan benefits for the following groups:a) persons who belonged to an RPP at the time of the survey (referred to as current plan members); b) persons who had previously belonged to an RPP and either left the money in the plan or transferred it to a new plan; c) persons who are receiving RPP benefits.

Release date: 2001-02-07 - Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015642Description:
The Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) links immigration and taxation administrative records into a comprehensive source of data on the labour market behaviour of the landed immigrant population in Canada. It covers the period 1980 to 1995 and will be updated annually starting with the 1996 tax year in 1999. Statistics Canada manages the database on behalf of a federal-provincial consortium led by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The IMDB was created specifically to respond to the need for detailed and reliable data on the performance and impact of immigration policies and programs. It is the only source of data at Statistics Canada that provides a direct link between immigration policy levers and the economic performance of immigrants. The paper will examine the issues related to the development of a longitudinal database combining administrative records to support policy-relevant research and analysis. Discussion will focus specifically on the methodological, conceptual, analytical and privacy issues involved in the creation and ongoing development of this database. The paper will also touch briefly on research findings, which illustrate the policy outcome links the IMDB allows policy-makers to investigate.

Release date: 2000-03-02

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