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Microdata Adjustment by the Minimum Information Loss Principle

Listed author(s):
  • Joachim Merz


    (LEUPHANA University Lüneburg,Department of Economic, Behaviour and Law Sciences, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)))

Microdata have become increasingly important for economic and social analyses. One striking problem with almost any practical analysis of microdata, microdata as a singular cross or longitudinal sample or within (static) microsimulation, is to achieve representative results. In this study a consistent solution of the microdata adjustment problem - that is to achieve representative results by re-weighting microdata to fit aggregate control data - is presented based on the Minimum Information Loss (MIL) principle. Based on information theory this principle satisfies the desired positivity constraint on the weighting factors to be computed. For the consistent solution which simultaneously adjusts hierarchical microdata (e.g. household and personal information), a fast numerical solution by a specific modified Newton-Raphson (MN) procedure with a global exponential approximation is proposed. Practical experiences for large microdata sets in a pension reform analysis with e.g. more than 60.000 households and 240 restrictions simultaneously to be achieved within the Sfb 3 microsimulation model show that this MN procedure was able to rather largely reduce the computional expenses by 75%. The available efficient PC-computer program ADJUST is also succesfully applied in a described microsimulation analyses of the recent 1990 German tax reform investigating the impacts on market and non-market labour supply within the formal and informal economy, and in a recent firm microsimulation analysion explaining factors of successful firms in the German engineering industry.

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Paper provided by Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg in its series FFB-Discussionpaper with number 10.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1994
Handle: RePEc:leu:wpaper:10
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  1. Merz, Joachim, 1994. "Microsimulation - A Survey of Methods and Applications for Analyzing Economic and Social Policy," MPRA Paper 7232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Merz, Joachim, 1991. "Microsimulation -- A survey of principles, developments and applications," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 77-104, May.
  3. Finke, Renate & Theil, Henri, 1984. "An extended version of minimum information estimation of allocation models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 229-233.
  4. Merz, Joachim, 1993. "Microsimulation as an Instrument to Evaluate Economic and Social Programmes," MPRA Paper 7236, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Merz, Joachim & Wolff, Klaus G, 1993. "The Shadow Economy: Illicit Work and Household Production: A Microanalysis of West Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 177-194, June.
  6. Theil, Henri & Finke, Renate & Flood, Lennart R., 1984. "Minimum information estimation of allocation models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 251-256.
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