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Towards Unrestricted Public Use Business Microdata: The Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database

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  • Satkartar K. Kinney
  • Jerome P. Reiter
  • Arnold P. Reznek
  • Javier Miranda
  • Ron S. Jarmin
  • John M. Abowd

Abstract

In most countries, national statistical agencies do not release establishment-level business microdata, because doing so represents too large a risk to establishments\' confidentiality. One approach with the potential for overcoming these risks is to release synthetic data; that is, the released establishment data are simulated from statistical models designed to mimic the distributions of the underlying real microdata. In this article, we describe an application of this strategy to create a public use file for the Longitudinal Business Database, an annual economic census of establishments in the United States comprising more than 20 million records dating back to 1976. The U.S. Bureau of the Census and the Internal Revenue Service recently approved the release of these synthetic microdata for public use, making the synthetic Longitudinal Business Database the first-ever business microdata set publicly released in the United States. We describe how we created the synthetic data, evaluated analytical validity, and assessed disclosure risk.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2011/CES-WP-11-04.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 11-04.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:11-04

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Cited by:
  1. Satkartar K. Kinney & Jerome P. Reiter & Javier Miranda, 2014. "Improving The Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 14-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Ori Heffetz & Katrina Ligett, 2014. "Privacy and Data-Based Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
  3. Allen Tran, 2013. "Customer Driven Establishment Dynamics and Allocative Efficiency," 2013 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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