Benefit-Cost Analysis of Data Used to Allocate Funds by Bruce Spencer

By Bruce Spencer

This monograph treats the query of picking out how a lot to spend for the gathering and research of public info. this tough challenge for presidency statisticians and policy-makers is probably going to develop into much more urgent within the close to destiny. The strategy taken this is to estimate and evaluate the advantages and prices of different facts courses. in view that facts are utilized in some ways, the advantages are tough to degree. the tactic i've got followed makes a speciality of use of information to figure out fund allocations, really within the basic profit Sharing application. basic profit Sharing is among the greatest allocation courses within the usa. That error in inhabitants counts and different facts reason large error in allocation has been a lot publicized. the following we study no matter if the accuracy of the 1970 census of inhabitants and different info utilized by basic profit Sharing could be better. in fact it's too past due to alter the 1970 census software, however the procedure and strategies of research will observe to destiny information courses. In partic­ ular, benefit-cost analyses corresponding to this are worthy for trained judgements approximately no matter if the price of statistical courses is justi­ fied or now not. for instance, even though a legislations authorizing a mid-decade census used to be enacted in 1976, there exists nice doubt even if cash may be supplied so a census can ensue in 1985. (The President's funds for 1981 permits no funds for the mid-decade census, regardless of the Census Bureau's request for $1. nine million for making plans purposes.

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20) 1: Ifi Hf = M6 - 8i L(f, 8) equals I Since GRS was essentially a fixed-pie allocation process from 1972 to 1976 we will concentrate on bounds for a,b As it is unlikely that Congress is so sensitive to errors in GRS allocations that the If i - 8 i I as big as 1 loss could exceed values of (a-b)/2 or even 1: (f i - 1: or even only 1/2 8i ) might be deemed "unreasonably large". The interest rate interpretation also gives some feeling for appropriate values of that (a-b)/2 in the neighborhood of ratio of b to a (1.

13): -bH(xi +)] + w[a'H(x. 13). H(x) = x, yields LH is obtained by requiring The loss function x > 0 Lw H(x) = H(-x) is a special case of Setting all weights w, wi ~ with to unity in The remainder of this section considers only loss functions ~(~, ~ ) Loss functions with non-symmetric L(~, ~ The §1. 6. 12). The model for loss to a recipient under L(~, represented loss to recipient where Lw L. e ) may be -29Because of the convexity of most utility functions, one feels that b/a is less than of the constants a idealized scenario.

The approach of statistical decision theory compares alternative statistical procedures solely on the basis of expected loss. Unless the class of procedures under consideration is limited a priori for compelling reasons, constraints such as unbiasedness may be useful mathematical expedients but are not relevant for choosing the "best" procedure, where best is determined on the basis of expected loss. 143-4), which is "essentially a means of stipulating that the process of estimation is directed to the particular parameter under discussion, and not to some other function of the adjustable parameter or parameters".

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