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Privacy protection, measurement error, and the integration of remote sensing and socioeconomic survey data

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  • Michler, Jeffrey D.
  • Josephson, Anna
  • Kilic, Talip
  • Murray, Siobhan

Abstract

When publishing socioeconomic survey data, survey programs implement a variety of statistical methods designed to preserve privacy but which come at the cost of distorting the data. We explore the extent to which spatial anonymization methods to preserve privacy in the large-scale surveys supported by the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) introduce measurement error in econometric estimates when that survey data is integrated with remote sensing weather data. Guided by a pre-analysis plan, we produce 90 linked weather-household datasets that vary by the spatial anonymization method and the remote sensing weather product. By varying the data along with the econometric model we quantify the magnitude and significance of measurement error coming from the loss of accuracy that results from privacy protection measures. We find that spatial anonymization techniques currently in general use have, on average, limited to no impact on estimates of the relationship between weather and agricultural productivity. However, the degree to which spatial anonymization introduces mismeasurement is a function of which remote sensing weather product is used in the analysis. We conclude that care must be taken in choosing a remote sensing weather product when looking to integrate it with publicly available survey data.

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  • Michler, Jeffrey D. & Josephson, Anna & Kilic, Talip & Murray, Siobhan, 2022. "Privacy protection, measurement error, and the integration of remote sensing and socioeconomic survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:158:y:2022:i:c:s0304387822000839
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2022.102927
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial anonymization; Privacy protection; Remote sensing data; Measurement error; Sub-Saharan Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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