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Distribution-preserving statistical disclosure limitation

  • Woodcock, Simon D.
  • Benedetto, Gary

One approach to limiting disclosure risk in public-use microdata is to release multiply-imputed, partially synthetic data sets. These are data on actual respondents, but with confidential data replaced by multiply-imputed synthetic values. A mis-specified imputation model can invalidate inferences based on the partially synthetic data, because the imputation model determines the distribution of synthetic values. We present a practical method to generate synthetic values when the imputer has only limited information about the true data generating process. We combine a simple imputation model (such as regression) with density-based transformations that preserve the distribution of the confidential data, up to sampling error, on specified subdomains. We demonstrate through simulations and a large scale application that our approach preserves important statistical properties of the confidential data, including higher moments, with low disclosure risk.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8V-4WDGCKT-2/2/456cce67b8239c19fcaad92513a7cbc3
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Computational Statistics & Data Analysis.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
Pages: 4228-4242

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Handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:53:y:2009:i:12:p:4228-4242
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/csda

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  1. John M. Abowd & Bryce E. Stephens & Lars Vilhuber & Fredrik Andersson & Kevin L. McKinney & Marc Roemer & Simon Woodcock, 2002. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. John M. Abowd & John C. Haltiwanger & Julia I. Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employee-Employer Data for the United States," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2004-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
  4. Rathindra Sarathy & Krishnamurty Muralidhar & Rahul Parsa, 2002. "Perturbing Nonnormal Confidential Attributes: The Copula Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(12), pages 1613-1627, December.
  5. Reiter, Jerome P. & Raghunathan, Trivellore E., 2007. "The Multiple Adaptations of Multiple Imputation," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 1462-1471, December.
  6. Reiter, Jerome P., 2005. "Estimating Risks of Identification Disclosure in Microdata," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 1103-1112, December.
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