By Constance F. Citro, Michael L. Cohen
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Extra info for Bicentennial Census: New Directions for Methodology in 1990
Thus, we recommend against loss functions based solely on the number of political entities losing or gaining through adjustment. We recommend that the Census Bureau investigate the construction of adjustment procedures that are robust to a reasonable range of loss functions. The next section of the chapter discusses the problem of estimating the likely range of error introduced by the particular procedure adopted for an adjustment. Although error can be measured only imperfectly, information about the distribution of error is important in the same way that sampling variances for sample surveys provide useful information.
The panel did not offer specific recommendations in this area, but noted that the criteria for including items in the followon survey have not been explicitly articulated but should be to permit thorough assessment of the need for the survey and for the inclusion of particular items. We recommend that the Census Bureau refine and make more explicit its criteria for inclusion of items in the proposed followon survey that is being considered for the 1990 census. The panel recommends research and testing directed toward improving the data quality of key items.
We recommend that one of these methods be used to achieve internal consistency of census figures. Congress clearly will need to stipulate which scenario is preferable for apportionment purposes. In this situation, we recommend that the Census Bureau seek determination by Congress of whether it desires that adjusted data be used and will therefore extend the deadlines, or wishes to adhere to current deadlines and will therefore stipulate the use of unadjusted (or partially adjusted) data for reapportionment and redistricting.