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Canada Needs Better Data for Evidence-Based Policy: Inconsistencies Between Administrative and Survey Data on Welfare Dependence and Education

  • Rebecca N. Warburton
  • William P. Warburton
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    This study compares administrative and survey data on BC welfare (social assistance) recipients, to test whether survey data is sufficiently accurate for use in policy-oriented research. BC welfare and education data is compared to the 1994 Public Use Microdata (BC sample) of Statistics Canada's Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID). BC 1994 SLID significantly understates welfare dependence, and overstates education levels of BC welfare recipients. Statistics Canada should lead a national initiative to make provincial administrative datasets available for research; and should use these data to improve key national longitudinal social research surveys such as SLID, NLSCY, and NPHS.

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    Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 241-256

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    Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:30:y:2004:i:3:p:241-256
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    1. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Drolet, Simon, 2004. "Welfare benefits and the duration of welfare spells: evidence from a natural experiment in Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1495-1520, July.
    2. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Adler, Hans J & Wolfson, Michael, 1988. "A Prototype Micro-Macro Link for the Canadian Household Sector," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(4), pages 371-92, December.
    4. Christopher Bollinger & Martin H. David, 2000. "Estimation with Response Error and Non-Response: Food Stamp Participation in the SIPP," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0198, Econometric Society.
    5. V. J. Hotz & J. K. Scholz, . "Measuring Employment and Income for Low-Income Populations with Administrative and Survey Data," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1224-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    6. Coelli, Michael B. & Green, David A. & Warburton, William P., 2007. "Breaking the cycle? The effect of education on welfare receipt among children of welfare recipients," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1369-1398, August.
    7. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
    8. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Jean-Fran├žois Thibault, 1999. "The Interaction of UI and Welfare, and the Dynamics of Welfare Participation of Single Parents," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 115-132, November.
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