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  • Author: Jan van der Laan x
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Administrative data sources are increasingly used by National Statistical Institutes to compile statistics. These sources may be based on decentralised autonomous administrations, for instance municipalities that deliver data on their inhabitants. One issue that may arise when using these decentralised administrative data is that categorical variables are underreported by some of the data suppliers, for instance to avoid administrative burden. Under certain conditions overreporting may also occur.

When statistical output on changes is estimated from decentralised administrative data, the question may arise whether those changes are affected by shifts in reporting frequencies. For instance, in a case study on hospital data, the values from certain data suppliers may have been affected by changes in reporting frequencies. We present an automatic procedure to detect suspicious data suppliers in decentralised administrative data in which shifts in reporting behaviour are likely to have affected the estimated output. The procedure is based on a predictive mean matching approach, where part of the original data values are replaced by imputed values obtained from a selected reference group. The method is successfully applied to a case study with administrative hospital data.


A commonly known problem in population size estimation using registers, is that registers do not necessarily cover the whole population. This may be because they intend to cover part of the population (e.g., students), due to administrative delay or because part of the target population is not registered by default (e.g., illegal persons). One of the methods to estimate the population size in the presence of undercount is the capture-recapture method that combines the information of two or more samples. In the context of census estimation registers are used instead of samples. However, the method assumes that perfect linkage between the registers can be achieved. It is known that this assumption is often violated.

In the setting of evaluating the population coverage of a census using a post-enumeration survey, a correction for linkage error was proposed. That correction was later generalized by relaxing some of the newly introduced conditions. However, the new correction method still implicitly assumed that the two registers are of equal size. We introduce a further generalization that includes both previously mentioned correction methods and at the same time deals with registers of different sizes. Specific parameter settings will correspond to the different correction methods. We show that the parameters of each method can be chosen such that the resulting estimates all equal the traditional Petersen estimate (1896) that would theoretically be obtained under truly perfect linkage.