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Activity Number: 349
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: International Association of Survey Statisticians
Abstract - #302963
Title: Register Data Are a Good Backbone but Sometimes Restricted for Policymakers: Experiences from Finland Over Decades
Author(s): Seppo Laaksonen and Pekka Myrskyla*+
Companies: Statistics Finland and Statistics Finland/University of Helsinki
Address: Box 4A, , 00022, Finland
Keywords: Register-based small-area estimation ; Grid-squares ; New types of firms ; Longitudinal matching

Public authorities begun to build registers more than 4 decades ago. First, registers were independent of each other but about two decades ago Statistics Finland started to match and merge registers and other administrative records together using unique identifiers such as personal identity code, codes for businesses, coordinates for houses, business and service buildings and geographic areas. An outcome was the register-based census in 1990. A user of register data meets errors and non-up-to-date figures, but data are basically complete. Hence well-combined data are excellent for government and other policymakers. The paper presents a number of successful stories; for example how government subsidies have been shared to local authorities. Less successful stories are also presented. Many of them are related to increasing mobility of people and businesses within and between countries.

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