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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education


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 — October 2018 — 

 

 People News 

We welcome three new CNSTAT members:
Diana Farrell, JPMorgan Chase Institute, Washington, DC
Daniel Kifer, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
C. Matthew Snipp, School of the Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University

The continuing CNSTAT members are:
Robert M. Groves (chair), Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Department of Sociology, Georgetown University
Mary Ellen Bock, Department of Statistics, Purdue University
Anne C. Case, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Michael E. Chernew, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
Janet Currie, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Donald A. Dillman, Department of Sociology, Washington State University
Thomas L. Mesenbourg, Retired, Formerly U.S. Census Bureau
Sarah M. Nusser, Department of Statistics, Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, Iowa State University
Colm A. O'Muircheartaigh, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, The University of Chicago
Jerome P. Reiter, Department of Statistical Science, Duke University
Roberto Rigobon, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Judith A. Seltzer, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
(For biographical information on current CNSTAT members, visit this site.)

We congratulate William (Bill) Nordhaus, Sterling professor of economics at Yale University, on receiving the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, together with New York University professor of economics Paul Romer. The award, announced on October 8, 2018, honors the pair’s research, which explains how “nature and knowledge” influence long-term sustainable economic growth. Bill, who has long advocated a carbon tax to limit harmful emissions, was recognized “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis,” according to the Swedish Academy’s press release. His colleague shared half of the award “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” Bill first began work on the relationship between the economy and the environment in the 1970s. Twenty years later, he pioneered an integrated quantitative assessment model describing “the global interplay between the economy and the climate.” The model is now widely used by economists and policymakers to assess possible outcomes of climate policy intervention on the economy. Bill is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and served on CNSTAT from 1993-1999. He presented his climate change analysis model at a CNSTAT public seminar, chaired the CNSTAT panel that produced Nature’s Numbers: Expanding the National Economic Accounts to Include the Environment in 1999, and played a key role in a CNSTAT workshop that helped jump-start the American Time Use Survey (see Time-Use Measurement and Research: Report of a Workshop [2000]).

We congratulate the following members of the CNSTAT community whose election as fellows of the American Statistical Association in 2018 was announced at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, BC, July 31, 2018:

  • Michael E. Davern, NORC at the University of Chicago, “For outstanding contributions to improvements in the quality of federal statistics and to more effective use of survey and administrative data in support of public health policy and research and for exceptional organizational and team leadership in advancing these ends.”
  • Donsig Jang, NORC at the University of Chicago, “For outstanding contributions to survey methods; for effective leadership of large-scale national survey projects; and for service to the profession.”
  • Michael Jay Messner, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “For leadership in applying innovative statistical methods to support regulations that ensure drinking water safety; for developing and promoting best practices for planning environmental research and statistical analyses; for teaching and mentoring nonstatisticians at EPA; for management and dissemination of statistical resources across the federal statistical community; and for dedicated service to the ASA.”
  • Kristen Olson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “For broad-ranging contributions to survey methodology, especially in the areas of nonresponse analysis, interview process, and use of paradata; for service to the profession, especially in design of multiple federal and state-level statistical surveys; and for spearheading the training of the new generation of survey statisticians and methodologists.”
  • Aleksandra B. Slavkovic, Pennsylvania State University, “For contributions to the integration of formal privacy methods, such as differential privacy, into the theory and practice of modern statistical disclosure limitation—especially as regards genome-wide association studies, graph models, and contingency tables—and for work within ASA and in the broader community in educating statisticians about privacy and confidentiality.”

We also congratulate the following individuals who received awards from ASA or its sections at the 2018 JSM in Vancouver:

  • John Eltinge, U.S. Census Bureau, for his selection to give the 2018 Deming Lecture; the title of his lecture was “Improving the Quality and Value of Statistical Information: 14 Questions on Management.”
  • Albert Madansky, The University of Chicago, recipient of the W.J. Dixon Award for Excellence in Statistical Consulting—Al served on the CNSTAT panel that produced The Bicentennial Census: New Directions for Methodology in 1990, rereleased in 2015 in a 30th anniversary edition.
  • Sally C. Morton, Virginia Tech, and Paul R. Rosenbaum, University of Pennsylvania, recipients of Long-Term Excellence Awards from the ASA Health Policy Statistics Section—both are former CNSTAT members.
  • Susan A. Murphy, Harvard University and former CNSTAT member, for her selection to give the 2018 Fisher Lecture; the title of her lecture was “The Future: Stratified Micro-Randomized Trials with Applications in Mobile Health.”
  • Colm O’Muircheartaigh, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and CNSTAT member, recipient of the Monroe G. Sirken Award in Interdisciplinary Survey Methods Research.

    We thank for their service to the statistical community through editorship:
  • Michael L. Cohen, CNSTAT Senior Program Officer, who edited Statistics and Public Policy from 2016-2018.
Roderick Little, University of Michigan and former CNSTAT member, who edited Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, from 2016-2018.

Finally, and very importantly, we thank the federal statistical, research, and evaluation agencies that contribute core funding to CNSTAT. These funds enable CNSTAT to maintain a core staff, organize an active program of seminars and other events, and convene workshops on topics of broad interest to the federal statistical community. Core contributors for 2018 are:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, DHHS
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, DHHS
Behavioral and Social Research Division, National Institute on Aging, DHHS
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice
Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor
Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Department of Transportation
Economic Research Service, USDA
Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy
Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
Forest Inventory and Analysis, U.S. Forest Service
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics, NSF
National Center for Education Statistics , Department of Education
National Center for Health Statistics, DHHS
National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, NSF
National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA
Office of Policy Development and Research, HUD
Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSA
Statistics of Income Division, IRS
U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Research and Evaluation Division, DHS

 

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Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms, the final report of a consensus panel of CNSTAT, chaired by Catherine Kling (Cornell University) and sponsored by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS), was released in prepublication format on October 2, 2018. Free PDFs are available here, printed copies will be available shortly.

America’s farms and farmers are integral to the U.S. economy and, more broadly, to the nation’s social and cultural fabric. A healthy agricultural sector helps ensure a safe and reliable food supply, improves energy security, and contributes to employment and economic development, traditionally in small towns and rural areas where farming serves as a nexus for related sectors from farm machinery manufacturing to food processing. The agricultural sector also plays a role in the nation’s overall economic growth by providing crucial raw inputs for the production of a wide range of goods and services, including many that generate substantial export value. If the agricultural sector is to be accurately understood and the policies that affect its functioning are to remain well informed, the statistical system’s data collection programs must be periodically revisited to ensure they are keeping up with current realities. This report reviews current information and makes recommendations to NASS and ERS to help identify effective methods for collecting data and reporting information about American agriculture, given increased complexity and other changes in farm business structure in recent decades.

A Letter Report concerning the proposed inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census was issued by the CNSTAT Task Force on the 2020 Census on August 7, 2018, in response to the initial Federal Register notice required under the Paperwork Reduction Act for Office of Management and Budget approval of the 2020 census. The Task Force concluded that the Department of Commerce’s decision to add the question is inconsistent with the “proper performance of the functions” of the Census Bureau. The Task Force noted that the American Community Survey already meets the stated need for citizenship data and that adding the question without proper testing would impair the quality of the 2020 census as a whole. Furthermore, adding the citizenship question and using the method described in the Secretary of Commerce’s memo and the Census Bureau’s review would create a new register of citizens. Such a register has unclear statistical purposes, and it could not under current law be used for nonstatistical purposes, such as law enforcement against individuals, and still comport with the Bureau’s mission as a federal statistical agency. While citizenship is an important public policy topic and worthy of high-quality data collection, adding this question to the 2020 census risks undermining the credibility of the Census Bureau and the decennial census, the trust of its respondents, and the independence of the Census Bureau’s professional staff to develop, produce, and disseminate objective information while protecting the confidentiality of respondents.
Read the Task Force's letter. More information on the Task Force.


RECENTLY RELEASED REPORTS NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINTED FORM
 
Reminder: PDF versions of CNSTAT and NAS reports are available for free download at The National Academies Press website, http://www.nap.edu, NOTE: The download site asks for your e-mail and a password.  If you don’t have an NAP account and don’t want to have one, then provide your e-mail and click “I don’t have an account;” on the next page click “accept NAP policies” and “log in as guest”.  

Reminder: Slides from previous CNSTAT public seminars are available on the CNSTAT public seminars and symposia. Presentations from the October 2017 CNSTAT meeting public seminar, “New Directions for Federal Statistics,” are available here.

Letter Report on the 2020 Census (released August 17, 2018)
 
 
 
 
 


 

 


Slides from several major workshops are available on the presentations page on the CNSTAT website.
  

Event Other News


The 27th Annual Morris Hansen Lecture, sponsored by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Washington Statistical Society, and Westat, will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018, at the USDA Jefferson Auditorium on Independence Ave. (between 12th and 14th Streets) from 3:30–5:30 p.m., followed by a reception on the Whitten Building patio. The lecture honors Morris Hansen, who made pioneering and long-lasting contributions to survey sampling and related statistical methods during his long and distinguished career at the U.S. Census Bureau and at Westat. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976, he served on the CNSTAT panel that produced the 3-volume report, Incomplete Data in Sample Surveys (1983).

The title of this year’s lecture is “How Errors Cumulate: Two Examples,” presented by Roger Tourangeau, vice president, Westat, and former member of CNSTAT. Discussion will be presented by Kristen Olson, associate professor, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Jill Dever, senior research statistician, Division for Statistical and Data Sciences, RTI International. Please pre-register for this event to help facilitate access to the building at https://www.nass.usda.gov/morrishansen/.

Abstract: Are there systematic relationships between different sources of survey errors? This talk examines two cases in detail—how coverage, selection, and nonresponse errors in non-probability web panels cumulate and whether there is a relationship between response propensities and data quality. With non-probability web panels, there seems to be overlap in the variables that affect someone’s propensity to have Internet access, to join a web panel, and to respond to specific survey requests. As a result, the different forms of errors accentuate each other and produce larger errors than surveys based on probability samples, even ones with very low response rates. Weighting helps reduce the biases from non-probability web panels but does not eliminate them. With nonresponse and data quality, unit and item nonresponse seem to be related, but there is less evidence that reluctant or hard-to-reach respondents provide less accurate answers than other respondents. Thus, there is at least partial independence between nonresponse and measurement error.

The Inaugural ASA Links Lecture, sponsored by the American Statistical Association and hosted by CNSTAT, will be held on Monday, November 5, 2018, in Room 100 of the Keck Center of the National Academies at 500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The lecture will take place between 3:00 and 4:30 pm and be followed by a reception. Doors will open at 2:30. For those unable to attend in person, the lecture will also be available by webcast. More information is available in the attached flyer. To register, visit the CNSTAT web site.


Applications for the position of deputy director of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) are invited, with a closing date of October 17, 2018. Here is the link to the formal vacancy announcement posting on USAJOBS:
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/508645400. Emilda Rivers, NCSES director, notes that “There are important opportunities and challenges ahead, and NCSES needs outstanding visionary, effective, and collaborative applicants. Please share this opportunity widely and feel free to direct candidates or questions to me (erivers@nsf.gov).”

CNSTAT is looking for Program Officers or Senior Program Officers. For further information visit the NASEM career page and contact Brian Harris-Kojetin.

 

 

 CNSTAT Meetings

CNSTAT holds three regular meetings each year, with its spring and fall meeting dates following a set formula; our May meetings are always the Thursday–Friday preceding Mother’s Day and our October meetings are always the second-to-last Thursday–Friday of the month. Here are the next three meetings:

CNSTAT’s 137th meeting will be held October 18-19, 2018, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 19th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the ICSP), followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 1:30 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm. The seminar topic is “Leveraging and Linking Data for Disasters.”

CNSTAT’s 138th meeting will be held February 7-8, 2019, at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, C.A. It will be in retreat format; it will not have a public seminar or agency head lunch.

CNSTAT’s 139th meeting will be held May 9-10, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 10th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, ICSP), followed by a public seminar, beginning at 1:30 pm, with refreshments, and ending with a reception at 4:00 pm.

              

 

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[Listed by sponsor agency, beginning with federal departments. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are in Washington, D.C., and include open sessions. For further information, contact the person listed as the study director or project assistant (e-mail addresses follow the formula of first initial plus last name as in oneword@nas.edu). Also see the CNSTAT web site under “Our Work.”]

CNSTAT Core Sponsors

Challenges and New Approaches for Protecting Privacy in Federal Statistical Programs: A Workshop
Sponsors: CNSTAT Core Sponsors (see p. 3 above)
Duration: August 2018–December 2019
Study director: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Jerome P. Reiter
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meeting: Workshop scheduled for June6-7, 2018


Department of Agriculture

Improving Consumer Data for Food and Nutrition Policy Research
Sponsor: Economic Research Service (Consumer Data and Nutrition Research [CDNR] Program)
Duration: October 2017–December 2019
Study director: Christopher Mackie; senior program officer: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Michael Siri
Chair: Marianne Bitler (University of California, Davis)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Third meeting held September 20-21, 2018, in Washington, DC;
fourth meeting TBD

Panel on Improving Data Collection and Reporting about Agriculture with Increasingly Complex Farm Business Structures

Sponsor: National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service
Duration: September 2015–March 2019
Study director: Christopher Mackie; project assistant: Michael Siri
Chair: Catherine Kling (Iowa State University)
Publication: Final consensus report issued in prepublication format on October 2, 2018; free PDFs are available here, printed copies will be available shortly
Meetings: Sixth and final meeting (closed) held March 26-27, 2018, at NORC in Chicago, IL

Workshop on Model-Based Methods for Producing Estimates of Livestock with Appropriate Measures of Uncertainty
Sponsor: National Agricultural Statistics Service
Duration: September 2014–September 2019
Study director: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meeting: Workshop scheduled for March 12, 2019

Department of Commerce

Workshop on Improving the American Community Survey
Sponsor: U.S. Census Bureau
Duration: April 2018 –March 2019
Study director: Daniel Cork; senior program officer: Michael Cohen; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Warren Brown (Cornell University)
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Meeting: Workshop held September 26-27, 2018, in Washington, DC. See this site for more information.


Department of Education
Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity (see listing under “The Atlantic Philanthropies et al.” below)


Department of Health and Human Services

Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years (led by the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, with CNSTAT)
Sponsors: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Foundation for Child Development
Duration: October 2016–April 2019
Study director: Suzanne Le Menestrel (BCYF); senior scholar: Constance Citro; senior program officer: Christopher Mackie; associate program officer: Elizabeth Townsend (BCYF); research associate: Dara Shefska (BCYF); project assistant: Pamella Atayi (BCYF)
Chair: Greg Duncan (UC Irvine)
Publication planned: Final consensus report is being readied for review
Meetings: Closed electronic meetings held in August 2018.

Workshop on Approaches to Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the United States
Sponsor: Office of Women’s Health
Duration: September 2018-December 2019
Study director: TBD
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meetings: TBD

Workshop on Social Science Modeling for Big Data in the World of Machine Learning
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging, Division of Behavioral and Social Research
Duration: 15 months
Study director: TBD
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meetings: TBD


Department of Labor

Panel on Contingent Work and Alternate Work Arrangements
Sponsor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Duration: September 2018-March 2020
Study director: Chris Mackie; project assistant Anthony Mann
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: TBD


Department of Transportation

Standing Committee for Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurement (joint with the Transportation Research Board)
Sponsor: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Duration: October 2017–September 2020
Study director: Michael Cohen; TRB Studies and Special Programs Division director: Tom Menzies; project assistant: Michael Siri
Co-chairs: Joel Greenhouse (Carnegie Mellon) and Sharon Lise-Normand (Harvard Medical School)
Publications: Standing committees do not issue reports; they meet for discussion; they also identify topics for separate workshops or consensus panels.
Upcoming meetings: The standing committee is meeting primarily by teleconference; it also held an on-site meeting, July 18, 2018, at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA.


National Science Foundation

Committee on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science (led by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, with the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, CNSTAT, and the Division of Earth and Life Sciences)
Sponsor: NSF director’s office (congressionally mandated)
Duration: August 2017 – March 2019
Study director: Jennifer Heimberg (DELS); board director: Michelle Schwalbe (BMSA); senior program officer: Adrienne Stith Butler (BBCSS); senior program officer: Michael Cohen (CNSTAT)
Chair: Harvey Fineberg (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation)
Publication planned: Final report is being drafted
Upcoming meetings: Fifth (and final) meeting held July 26-27, 2018, in Woods Hole, MA.

Panel on Transparency and Reproducibility for NCSES Statistics
Sponsor: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Duration: September 2018-November 2020
Study director: TBD
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: TBD

Workshop on Implications of Convergence for Measuring the Science and Engineering Workforce and the S&E Enterprise
Sponsor: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Duration: September 2018-August 2019
Study director: TBD
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meetings: TBD

Workshop on Transparency and Reproducibility in Federal Statistics
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Duration: March 2016–December 2018
Study director: Michael Cohen; project assistant: Michael Siri
Chair: William Eddy (Carnegie Mellon University)
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings is in response to review
Meeting: Workshop held June 21-22, 2017, in Washington, DC


The American Educational Research Association, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the W.T. Grant Foundation

Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity
Sponsors: See above list
Duration: December 2016–March 2019
Study director: Judith Koenig; senior scholar: Constance Citro; senior program officer: Jordyn White; project assistant: Kelly Arrington
Chair: Christopher Edley, Jr. (The Opportunity Institute, Berkeley, CA)
Publication planned: Final consensus report is being drafted
Upcoming meetings: Fifth and final in-person meeting (closed) held September 18-19, 2018, in Washington, DC, and Irvine, CA


NEWS ARCHIVES

CNSTAT News October
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CNSTAT News 2017
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CNSTAT’s 139th meeting will be held May 9-10, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 10th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, ICSP), followed by a public seminar, beginning at 1:30 pm, with refreshments, and ending with a reception at 4:00 pm.


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