IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Policy Targeting and Binary Information Transfer between Surveys


  • Gottlieb, Daniel
  • Kushnir, Leonid


This paper deals with the optimal transfer of binary information (BIT) on group membership between different statistical surveys of an identical population, a need arising frequently in socio-economic surveys. The limited number of questions asked in any one survey may necessitate information transfer between surveys. We design a method for a a BIT between a source-survey originally including the information and a target survey in which it is needed. An efficient BIT depends on (1) efficient estimation of the statistical model explaining group-membership as estimated by the ROC-curve, (2) the choice of a cutoff value for translating the forecasted logistic probability back into a binary variable and (3) a statistically testable quality control of the transfer. We suggest an optimal cutoff point that minimizes the sum of squared errors instead of the well-known Hosmer-Lemeshow method. Our application illustrates how survey data can be enhanced, when repeated interviews are expensive or difficult to implement. We enhance the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) by transferring a binary variable of households' religious group membership from the Social Survey to the HES. This helps identify extremely poor groups for poverty calculations and improved targeting of anti-poverty policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Gottlieb, Daniel & Kushnir, Leonid, 2006. "Social Policy Targeting and Binary Information Transfer between Surveys," MPRA Paper 3127, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3127

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glewwe, Paul & van der Gaag, Jacques, 1990. "Identifying the poor in developing countries: Do different definitions matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 803-814, June.
    2. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
    3. Bigman, David & Srinivasan, P. V., 2002. "Geographical targeting of poverty alleviation programs: methodology and applications in rural India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 237-255, June.
    4. Hentschel, Jesko, et al, 2000. "Combining Census and Survey Data to Trace the Spatial Dimensions of Poverty: A Case Study of Ecuador," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 147-165, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. García-Fernández, Rosa María & Gottlieb, Daniel & Palacios-González, Frederico, 2013. "Polarization, growth and social policy in the case of Israel, 1997-2008," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 7, pages 1-40.

    More about this item


    ROC curves; Binary Variables; Logistic Regression; Group Identification; Optimal Cutoff Value; Poverty Targeting; Poverty Mapping; Small Area Estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C46 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Specific Distributions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3127. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.