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Effects of a Government-Academic Partnership: Has the NSF-Census Bureau Research Network Helped Improve the U.S. Statistical System?

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel H. Weinberg
  • John M. Abowd
  • Robert F. Belli
  • Noel Cressie
  • David C. Folch
  • Scott H. Holan
  • Margaret C. Levenstein
  • Kristen M. Olson
  • Jerome P. Reiter
  • Matthew D. Shapiro
  • Jolene Smyth
  • Leen-Kiat Soh
  • Bruce D. Spencer
  • Seth E. Spielman
  • Lars Vilhuber
  • Christopher K. Wikle

Abstract

The National Science Foundation-Census Bureau Research Network (NCRN) was established in 2011 to create interdisciplinary research nodes on methodological questions of interest and significance to the broader research community and to the Federal Statistical System (FSS), particularly the Census Bureau. The activities to date have covered both fundamental and applied statistical research and have focused at least in part on the training of current and future generations of researchers in skills of relevance to surveys and alternative measurement of economic units, households, and persons. This paper discusses some of the key research findings of the eight nodes, organized into six topics: (1) Improving census and survey data collection methods; (2) Using alternative sources of data; (3) Protecting privacy and confidentiality by improving disclosure avoidance; (4) Using spatial and spatio-temporal statistical modeling to improve estimates; (5) Assessing data cost and quality tradeoffs; and (6) Combining information from multiple sources. It also reports on collaborations across nodes and with federal agencies, new software developed, and educational activities and outcomes. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the ability of the FSS to apply the NCRN’s research outcomes and suggests some next steps, as well as the implications of this research-network model for future federal government renewal initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel H. Weinberg & John M. Abowd & Robert F. Belli & Noel Cressie & David C. Folch & Scott H. Holan & Margaret C. Levenstein & Kristen M. Olson & Jerome P. Reiter & Matthew D. Shapiro & Jolene Smyth, 2017. "Effects of a Government-Academic Partnership: Has the NSF-Census Bureau Research Network Helped Improve the U.S. Statistical System?," Working Papers 17-59, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:17-59
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dolan Antenucci & Michael Cafarella & Margaret Levenstein & Christopher Ré & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2014. "Using Social Media to Measure Labor Market Flows," NBER Working Papers 20010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John M. Abowd & Ian M. Schmutte, 2017. "Revisiting the Economics of Privacy: Population Statistics and Confidentiality Protection as Public Goods," Working Papers 17-37, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. John M. Abowd & Ian M. Schmutte, 2015. "Economic Analysis and Statistical Disclosure Limitation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 221-293.
    4. Alessandro Acquisti & Leslie K. John & George Loewenstein, 2013. "What Is Privacy Worth?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 249-274.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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