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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Reengineering the Census Bureau's Annual Economic Surveys

Project Scope

An ad hoc panel will review the design, operations, and products of the U.S. Census Bureau’s suite of annual economic surveys of retail trade, manufactures, wholesale trade, services, and other economic activities with the goal to better answer questions about the evolving economy. The panel will recommend short-term and longer term agendas for systemic change that can improve the relevance and accuracy of the data, reduce respondent burden, incorporate alternative sources of data where appropriate, and streamline and standardize Census Bureau processes and methods across surveys. This will include advice on approaches to harmonize and simplify the design and production process for these annual economic surveys. The panel also will consider the alignment of the annual programs with each other, with the indicator programs, and with the economic census programs with the goal of improving data coherence.

Areas for the panel to consider include survey content (including data gaps and redundancies), the definition of the universe and unit of data collection (e.g., firm, establishment), the sampling frame, sample design, questionnaire design, data collection procedures, data processing, and estimation. The panel is also asked to consider improvements in data products of value to users with respect to accuracy, relevance, frequency, timeliness, and geographic detail, including the production of subnational estimates that can be related to demographic and socioeconomic data. The panel will gather information, deliberate, and prepare a final report with its findings and recommendations at the end of a 36-month time period.

To read more about the project, view the entry in the Academies Current Project System.

Last Meeting:

October 27-28, 2016

Keck Center
500 Fifth Street NW
Washington D.C. 20001


Panel Membership and Staff

Katharine G. Abraham (chair), University of Maryland, College Park
Mary K. Batcher, BDS Data Analytics
Marie Brodeur, Retired, Statistics Canada
Cynthia Z.F. Clark, Retired Federal Executive
William Dunkelberg, National Federation of Independent Businesses
Robert Hall (NAS), Stanford University
Kaye Husbands Fealing, Georgia Institute of Technology
J. Steven Landefeld, U.S. Naval Academy and United Nations 
Michael Larsen, George Washington University
David Marker, Westat, Inc.
Joan Naymark, Retired, Target Corporation
Kristen Olson, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Ger Snijkers, Statistics Netherland
Chad Syverson, University of Chicago
Richard Valliant, University of Michigan/University of Maryland

Glenn White, Study Director

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