Online Program

Third Party Audits –Does this Gold Standard Hold up for Assessing Measurement Error in a Regulated Industry?
*Brian Garber-Yonts, NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center 
Danna Lee Moore, Associate Director, SESRC WSU 


When an industry is regulated and survey response is mandated by law for establishments to maintain their permissions for continued operation into the next year, unit non-response is no longer the main problem. Measurement error, on the other hand, shifts to the forefront of concern as respondents have limited ability to provide accurate information and may be subject to incentives for strategic misreporting. In this type of competitive environment, inaccurate reporting is a source of bias in economic variables and understanding the nature of measurement error is important for decision makers and regulators. A critique of the data quality term “fitness for use” is provided in the context of fishery establishments reporting sensitive business operations information. Methods are needed to provide estimates of the magnitude and pervasiveness of measurement error for business establishments operating within regulated industries. This study demonstrates the lessons learned and how several approaches were used to assess measurement accuracy and whether third party audits were effective as a gold standard for detecting and correcting measurement error.