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The Use of Rotating Samples in the Census Bureau's Monthly Surveys

Ralph S. Woodruff
Journal of the American Statistical Association
Vol. 58, No. 302 (Jun., 1963), pp. 454-467
DOI: 10.2307/2283279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2283279
Page Count: 14
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The Use of Rotating Samples in the Census Bureau's Monthly Surveys
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Abstract

Two procedures which can be used to increase the reliability of estimates from rotating samples are described. One is the composite estimation procedure which in effect weights results from past and present rotating panels to produce an efficient estimate for the current period. The other procedure is the large observation procedure in which unusually large observations from two or more panels are enumerated currently with reduced weights. The latter procedure is particularly effective in reducing the variance of estimates of month-to-month change. Applications of the procedures to the Monthly Retail Trade Survey of the Bureau of the Census are described. In this survey use of the procedures has reduced the variances of dollar volume estimates and ratios of these estimates (such as month-to-month or year-to-year ratios) far below the variances obtained from a nonrotating sample. These striking variance reductions are achieved with only a slight increase in cost over a nonrotating sample.

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