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  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014759
    Description:

    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-X201300014251
    Description:

    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-X201300014252
    Description:

    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

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X201300014259
    Description:

    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-X201300014280
    Description:

    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-X201400114004
    Description:

    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

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201300211887
    Description:

    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-X201300611796
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    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-X201200211758
    Description:

    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-X201200111688
    Description:

    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)

Analysis (69) (40 to 50 of 69 results)

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X20020016745
    Description:

    The attractiveness of the Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) rests on its close similarity to a normal experimental design. On the other hand, it is of limited applicability since it is not often the case that units are assigned to the treatment group on the basis of an observable (to the analyst) pre-program measure. Besides, it only allows identification of the mean impact on a very specific subpopulation. In this technical paper, we show that the RDD straightforwardly generalizes to the instances in which the units' eligibility is established on an observable pre-program measure with eligible units allowed to freely self-select into the program. This set-up also proves to be very convenient for building a specification test on conventional non-experimental estimators of the program mean impact. The data requirements are clearly described.

    Release date: 2004-09-13

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X20020016750
    Description:

    Analyses of data from social and economic surveys sometimes use generalized variance function models to approximate the design variance of point estimators of population means and proportions. Analysts may use the resulting standard error estimates to compute associated confidence intervals or test statistics for the means and proportions of interest. In comparison with design-based variance estimators computed directly from survey microdata, generalized variance function models have several potential advantages, as will be discussed in this paper, including operational simplicity; increased stability of standard errors; and, for cases involving public-use datasets, reduction of disclosure limitation problems arising from the public release of stratum and cluster indicators.

    These potential advantages, however, may be offset in part by several inferential issues. First, the properties of inferential statistics based on generalized variance functions (e.g., confidence interval coverage rates and widths) depend heavily on the relative empirical magnitudes of the components of variability associated, respectively, with:

    (a) the random selection of a subset of items used in estimation of the generalized variance function model(b) the selection of sample units under a complex sample design (c) the lack of fit of the generalized variance function model (d) the generation of a finite population under a superpopulation model.

    Second, under conditions, one may link each of components (a) through (d) with different empirical measures of the predictive adequacy of a generalized variance function model. Consequently, these measures of predictive adequacy can offer us some insight into the extent to which a given generalized variance function model may be appropriate for inferential use in specific applications.

    Some of the proposed diagnostics are applied to data from the US Survey of Doctoral Recipients and the US Current Employment Survey. For the Survey of Doctoral Recipients, components (a), (c) and (d) are of principal concern. For the Current Employment Survey, components (b), (c) and (d) receive principal attention, and the availability of population microdata allow the development of especially detailed models for components (b) and (c).

    Release date: 2004-09-13

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X20030026785
    Description:

    To avoid disclosures, one approach is to release partially synthetic, public use microdata sets. These comprise the units originally surveyed, but some collected values, for example sensitive values at high risk of disclosure or values of key identifiers, are replaced with multiple imputations. Although partially synthetic approaches are currently used to protect public use data, valid methods of inference have not been developed for them. This article presents such methods. They are based on the concepts of multiple imputation for missing data but use different rules for combining point and variance estimates. The combining rules also differ from those for fully synthetic data sets developed by Raghunathan, Reiter and Rubin (2003). The validity of these new rules is illustrated in simulation studies.

    Release date: 2004-01-27

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X20030016610
    Description:

    In the presence of item nonreponse, unweighted imputation methods are often used in practice but they generally lead to biased estimators under uniform response within imputation classes. Following Skinner and Rao (2002), we propose a bias-adjusted estimator of a population mean under unweighted ratio imputation and random hot-deck imputation and derive linearization variance estimators. A small simulation study is conducted to study the performance of the methods in terms of bias and mean square error. Relative bias and relative stability of the variance estimators are also studied.

    Release date: 2003-07-31

  • Articles and reports: 92F0138M2003002
    Description:

    This working paper describes the preliminary 2006 census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations and is presented for user feedback. The paper briefly describes the factors that have resulted in changes to some of the census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations and includes tables and maps that list and illustrate these changes to their limits and to the component census subdivisions.

    Release date: 2003-07-11

  • Articles and reports: 92F0138M2003001
    Description:

    The goal of this working paper is to assess how well Canada's current method of delineating Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and Census Agglomerations (CAs) reflects the metropolitan nature of these geographic areas according to the facilities and services they provide. The effectiveness of Canada's delineation methodology can be evaluated by applying a functional model to Statistics Canada's CMAs and CAs.

    As a consequence of the research undertaken for this working paper, Statistics Canada has proposed lowering the urban core population threshold it uses to define CMAs: a CA will be promoted to a CMA if it has a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. User consultation on this proposal took place in the fall of 2002 as part of the 2006 Census content determination process.

    Release date: 2003-03-31

  • Articles and reports: 11F0019M2003199
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    Using a nationally representative sample of establishments, we have examined whether selected alternative work practices (AWPs) tend to reduce quit rates. Overall, our analysis provides strong evidence of a negative association between these AWPs and quit rates among establishments of more than 10 employees operating in high-skill services. We also found some evidence of a negative association in low-skill services. However, the magnitude of this negative association was reduced substantially when we added an indicator of whether the workplace has a formal policy of information sharing. There was very little evidence of a negative association in manufacturing. While establishments with self-directed workgroups have lower quit rates than others, none of the bundles of work practices considered yielded a negative and statistically significant effect. We surmise that key AWPs might be more successful in reducing labour turnover in technologically complex environments than in low-skill ones.

    Release date: 2003-03-17

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X20020026428
    Description:

    The analysis of survey data from different geographical areas where the data from each area are polychotomous can be easily performed using hierarchical Bayesian models, even if there are small cell counts in some of these areas. However, there are difficulties when the survey data have missing information in the form of non-response, especially when the characteristics of the respondents differ from the non-respondents. We use the selection approach for estimation when there are non-respondents because it permits inference for all the parameters. Specifically, we describe a hierarchical Bayesian model to analyse multinomial non-ignorable non-response data from different geographical areas; some of them can be small. For the model, we use a Dirichlet prior density for the multinomial probabilities and a beta prior density for the response probabilities. This permits a 'borrowing of strength' of the data from larger areas to improve the reliability in the estimates of the model parameters corresponding to the smaller areas. Because the joint posterior density of all the parameters is complex, inference is sampling-based and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods are used. We apply our method to provide an analysis of body mass index (BMI) data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). For simplicity, the BMI is categorized into 3 natural levels, and this is done for each of 8 age-race-sex domains and 34 counties. We assess the performance of our model using the NHANES III data and simulated examples, which show our model works reasonably well.

    Release date: 2003-01-29

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X20010016277
    Description:

    This paper discusses in detail issues dealing with the technical aspects of designing and conducting surveys. It is intended for an audience of survey methodologists.

    The advent of computerized record-linkage methodology has facilitated the conduct of cohort mortality studies in which exposure data in one database are electronically linked with mortality data from another database. In this article, the impact of linkage errors on estimates of epidemiological indicators of risk, such as standardized mortality ratios and relative risk regression model parameters, is explored. It is shown that these indicators can be subject to bias and additional variability in the presence of linkage errors, with false links and non-links leading to positive and negative bias, respectively, in estimates of the standardized mortality ratio. Although linkage errors always increase the uncertainty in the estimates, bias can be effectively eliminated in the special case in which the false positive rate equals the false negative rate within homogeneous states defined by cross-classification of the covariates of interest.

    Release date: 2002-09-12

  • Articles and reports: 89-552-M2000007
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    This paper addresses the problem of statistical inference with ordinal variates and examines the robustness to alternative literacy measurement and scaling choices of rankings of average literacy and of estimates of the impact of literacy on individual earnings.

    Release date: 2000-06-02
Reference (16)

Reference (16) (10 to 20 of 16 results)

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015650
    Description:

    The U.S. Manufacturing Plant Ownership Change Database (OCD) was constructed using plant-level data taken from the Census Bureau's Longitudinal Research Database (LRD). It contains data on all manufacturing plants that have experienced ownership change at least once during the period 1963-92. This paper reports the status of the OCD and discuss its research possibilities. For an empirical demonstration, data taken from the database are used to study the effects of ownership changes on plant closure.

    Release date: 2000-03-02

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015658
    Description:

    Radon, a naturally occurring gas found at some level in most homes, is an established risk factor for human lung cancer. The U.S. National Research Council (1999) has recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of the health risks of residential exposure to radon, and developed models for projecting radon lung cancer risks in the general population. This analysis suggests that radon may play a role in the etiology of 10-15% of all lung cancer cases in the United States, although these estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty. In this article, we present a partial analysis of uncertainty and variability in estimates of lung cancer risk due to residential exposure to radon in the United States using a general framework for the analysis of uncertainty and variability that we have developed previously. Specifically, we focus on estimates of the age-specific excess relative risk (ERR) and lifetime relative risk (LRR), both of which vary substantially among individuals.

    Release date: 2000-03-02

  • Geographic files and documentation: 92F0138M1993001
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    The Geography Divisions of Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of the Census have commenced a cooperative research program in order to foster an improved and expanded perspective on geographic areas and their relevance. One of the major objectives is to determine a common geographic area to form a geostatistical basis for cross-border research, analysis and mapping.

    This report, which represents the first stage of the research, provides a list of comparable pairs of Canadian and U.S. standard geographic areas based on current definitions. Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of the Census have two basic types of standard geographic entities: legislative/administrative areas (called "legal" entities in the U.S.) and statistical areas.

    The preliminary pairing of geographic areas are based on face-value definitions only. The definitions are based on the June 4, 1991 Census of Population and Housing for Canada and the April 1, 1990 Census of Population and Housing for the U.S.A. The important aspect is the overall conceptual comparability, not the precise numerical thresholds used for delineating the areas.

    Data users should use this report as a general guide to compare the census geographic areas of Canada and the United States, and should be aware that differences in settlement patterns and population levels preclude a precise one-to-one relationship between conceptually similar areas. The geographic areas compared in this report provide a framework for further empirical research and analysis.

    Release date: 1999-03-05

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19970013101
    Description:

    In the main body of statistics, sampling is often disposed of by assuming a sampling process that selects random variables such that they are independent and identically distributed (IID). Important techniques, like regression and contingency table analysis, were developed largely in the IID world; hence, adjustments are needed to use them in complex survey settings. Rather than adjust the analysis, however, what is new in the present formulation is to draw a second sample from the original sample. In this second sample, the first set of selections are inverted, so as to yield at the end a simple random sample. Of course, to employ this two-step process to draw a single simple random sample from the usually much larger complex survey would be inefficient, so multiple simple random samples are drawn and a way to base inferences on them developed. Not all original samples can be inverted; but many practical special cases are discussed which cover a wide range of practices.

    Release date: 1997-08-18

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19970013102
    Description:

    The selection of auxiliary variables is considered for regression estimation in finite populations under a simple random sampling design. This problem is a basic one for model-based and model-assisted survey sampling approaches and is of practical importance when the number of variables available is large. An approach is developed in which a mean squared error estimator is minimised. This approach is compared to alternative approaches using a fixed set of auxiliary variables, a conventional significance test criterion, a condition number reduction approach and a ridge regression approach. The proposed approach is found to perform well in terms of efficiency. It is noted that the variable selection approach affects the properties of standard variance estimators and thus leads to a problem of variance estimation.

    Release date: 1997-08-18

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19960022980
    Description:

    In this paper, we study a confidence interval estimation method for a finite population average when some auxiliairy information is available. As demonstrated by Royall and Cumberland in a series of empirical studies, naive use of existing methods to construct confidence intervals for population averages may result in very poor conditional coverage probabilities, conditional on the sample mean of the covariate. When this happens, we propose to transform the data to improve the precision of the normal approximation. The transformed data are then used to make inference on the original population average, and the auxiliary information is incorporated into the inference directly, or by calibration with empirical likelihood. Our approach is design-based. We apply our approach to six real populations and find that when transformation is needed, our approach performs well compared to the usual regression method.

    Release date: 1997-01-30
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