Statistical matching: Experimental results and future research questions

National statistical institutes try to construct data sets that are rich in information content by combining available data as much as possible. Unfortunately, units, e.g. persons or enterprises, in different data sources cannot always be matched directly with each other, for example because different data sources often contain different units. In such a case one can sometimes resort to statistical matching rather than exact matching. Statistical matching can be used when different data sources contain (different) units with a set of common (background) variables. These common variables may then be used to match similar units in the data sources to each other. From March 2015 till the end of June 2015 two master students, Sofie Linskens and Janneke van Roij, at Tilburg University evaluated some methods for statistical matching, namely random hot deck, distance hot deck and statistical matching using a parametric model, on categorical data from the Dutch Population Census 2001. In this paper we describe the methods that they examined and the results they obtained.