Number of Allocations as a Measure of “Within-Person Item-Incompleteness” (WPII): 2005 to 2010 Data from the American Community Survey

Carlos Siordia


The production of complete datasets from survey research requires that missing, illogical, or ambiguous values be “edited.” The American Community Survey (ACS) in the United States (US) creates “flag” variables to indicate when a response has been “allocated” (i.e., edited in such a way that it differs from the original value). Identifying different data editing levels through easy-to-understand statistics may provide useful products for policy makers. This report sums the number of flags by person in order to measure item-incompleteness (i.e., number of questions requiring editing). By using ACS six single-year Public Use Microdata Use (PUMS) files from 2005 to 2010, the investigation shows how data quality (measured by within-person item-incompleteness “WPII”) is most concentrated in male racial-ethnic minority groups. Quantifying the variability introduced by item-missingness in the production of population estimates from sample data is difficult. Identifying high concentrations of item missingness may be possible if detailed flag variables identifying edited data are made prevalent in secondary data sources.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Carlos Siordia

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Journal of Sociological Research ISSN 1948-5468


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