Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

Sampling Variability

Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

Sampling Variability

Article excerpt

A substantial number of tables in sections 5 and 6 present OASDI award and current-pay benefit data based on 1 -percent and 1 O-percent sample files drawn from the Social Security Administration's administrative records. In addition, tables 4.1311-4.1311 on the taxable earnings of OASDI workers are based on

1 -percent administrative record samples, and tables 7.A8, 7.139, and 7.E2 on SSI awards are based on 1 O-percent administrative record samples.

Because of sampling variability, estimates based on sample data may differ from the figures that would have been obtained had all, rather than specified samples, of the records been used. The standard error is a measure of the sampling variability. About 68 percent of all possible probability samples selected with the same specifications will give estimates within one standard error of the figure obtained from a compilation of all records. Similarly, approximately 90 percent will give estimates within 1.645 standard errors, about 95 percent will give estimates within two standard errors, and about 99 percent will give estimates within two and onehalf standard errors. The standard error of an estimate depends on the design elements such as the method of sampling, sample size, and the estimation process. …

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