Davies, Paul S.; Fisher, T. Lynn
July 2009
Social Security Bulletin;2009, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Researchers using survey data matched with administrative data benefit from the rich demographic and economic detail available from survey data combined with detailed programmatic data from administrative records. The research benefits of using these matched data are too numerous to mention. But there are drawbacks as well, and those drawbacks have received less systematic attention from researchers. We focus on survey data matched with administrative data from the Social Security Administration and address the strengths and weaknesses of each in four specific areas: (1) program participation and benefits, (2) disability and health information, (3) earnings, and (4) deferred compensation. We discuss the implications of these strengths and weaknesses for decisions that researchers must make regarding the appropriate data source and definition for the concepts in question. From this discussion, some general conclusions are drawn about measurement issues associated with using matched survey and administrative data for research, policy evaluation, and statistics.


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