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Measuring Research Intensity from Anonymized Data: Does Multiplicative Noise with Factor Structure Save Results Regarding Quotients?


  • Ronning Gerd

    () (Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Tübingen, Mohlstraße 36, 72074 Tübingen, Germany)


Economic researchers often consider quotients like R&D investment divided by sales which could be used to measure "research intensity" of firms if available. However, data on research in particular are highly confidential and would not be released in original form. Therefore scientific use files have to be generated from anonymized micro data. The paper considers joint anonymization of all variables by multiplicative noise which stems from a bimodal mixture distribution and can be regarded as an error model with factor structure. It is shown that quotients such as research intensity are not modified considerably by this procedure. However, already quotients from original data can give quite misleading results which is illustrated by simulation results and an empirical example using the German Cost Structure Survey.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronning Gerd, 2008. "Measuring Research Intensity from Anonymized Data: Does Multiplicative Noise with Factor Structure Save Results Regarding Quotients?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 644-653, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:228:y:2008:i:5-6:p:644-653

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gottschalk, Sandra, 2002. "Anonymisierung von Unternehmensdaten: Ein Überblick und beispielhafte Darstellung anhand des Mannheimer Innovationspanels," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-23, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerd Ronning, 2014. "Vertraulichkeit und Verfügbarkeit von Mikrodaten," IAW Discussion Papers 101, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).


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