Automating Response Evaluation for Franchising Questions on the 2017 Economic Census

22 Pages Posted: 13 May 2019

See all articles by Joseph Staudt

Joseph Staudt

U.S. Census Bureau

Yifang Wei

Georgetown University

Lisa Singh

Georgetown University

Shawn D. Klimek

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

J. Bradford Jensen

Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy; Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Andrew Baer

International Monetary Fund

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

Between the 2007 and 2012 Economic Censuses (EC), the count of franchise-affiliated establishments declined by 9.8%. One reason for this decline was a reduction in resources that the Census Bureau was able to dedicate to the manual evaluation of survey responses in the franchise section of the EC. Extensive manual evaluation in 2007 resulted in many establishments, whose survey forms indicated they were not franchise-affiliated, being recoded as franchise-affiliated. No such evaluation could be undertaken in 2012. In this paper, we examine the potential of using external data harvested from the web in combination with machine learning methods to automate the process of evaluating responses to the franchise section of the 2017 EC. Our method allows us to quickly and accurately identify and recode establishments have been mistakenly classified as not being franchise-affiliated, increasing the unweighted number of franchise-affiliated establishments in the 2017 EC by 22%-42%.

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Suggested Citation

Staudt, Joseph and Wei, Yifang and Singh, Lisa and Klimek, Shawn D. and Jensen, J. Bradford and Baer, Andrew, Automating Response Evaluation for Franchising Questions on the 2017 Economic Census (May 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25818. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3387173

Joseph Staudt (Contact Author)

U.S. Census Bureau ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
D.C., WA 20233
United States

Yifang Wei

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Lisa Singh

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Shawn D. Klimek

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States
(301) 763-2861 (Phone)
(301 763-5935 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ces.census.gov

J. Bradford Jensen

Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Andrew Baer

International Monetary Fund ( email )

Kuwait

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