Census and administrative microdata linkage in the UK, the USA, and Canada: prospects, problems and solutions?

Shuttleworth, I., Cooke, T., Shelton, N., Duke-Williams, O., Dibben, C. & Spielman, S. (2014) AAG Annual Meeting 2014, Tampa, Florida, USA. 21 - 25 Apr 2014 [SLS][ONS LS][NILS][CALLS]

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Session description:

The availability to researchers of individual-level linked Census and administrative data in the UK and the USA looks set to increase. In the UK, there are already well-established longitudinal studies in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland based on the linkage of Census and administrative data. Moreover, it is highly likely that linked non-Census administrative data will also grow in importance. It is, for example, probable that the national statistical agencies of the UK will in future make much more use of linked non-Census administrative data to count the population and that these data will also become more open to academic researchers and policymakers via an ESRC large-scale investment in Administrative Data Research Centres. In the USA, there is a series of Census Research Data Centers whilst in Canada there is a Research Data Centres network. The availability of linked data offers opportunities since it allows researchers to ask and to answer new questions. However, it also poses challenges. These include building the capacity to deal with large-scale complex datasets, understanding the nature and accuracy of non-Census administrative data, and working in ways that guarantee the security of these often highly sensitive and confidential datasets. This session seeks to discuss and to explore these and similar issues by bringing together UK and North American users of linked data, and also those involved in providing access to the data. The aim is to share experiences cross-nationally, and to evaluate the current situation and future prospects for data linkage in the UK and North America.

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