Distribution-preserving statistical disclosure limitation
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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- 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.
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- 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.
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