Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections

American Statistical Association

Vol. 5 No. 1

February 1999


Daniel Kasprzyk

In 1994, the Government Statistics and Social Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, along with the Washington Statistical Society, joined to sponsor an award honoring the late Roger Herriot, former Associate Commissioner for Statistical Standards at the National Center for Education Statistics and long time program manager and analyst at the Census Bureau.

The award recognizes individuals who develop unique approaches to the solution of statistical problems in federal data collection programs and is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career:

- dedication to issues of measurement;

- improvements in the efficiency of data collection programs; and

- improvements in the use of statistical data for policy analysis.

The awardee is selected by a committee of three persons, each representing one of the sponsoring associations. The award consists of an honorarium of $500 and a framed citation.

The recipients of the Herriot Award have been Joseph Waksberg(Westat), Monroe Sirken(National Center for Health Statistics), Constance F. Citro(National Academy of Sciences), Clyde Tucker(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) and Roderick J. Harrison(U.S. Bureau of the Census).

The sponsoring organizations authorized the award for a five year period, ending with the recipient of the award in 1999, and asked to be briefed prior to 1999 on the whether the award ought to be authorized for another 5 year period. The current Herriot Award Committee, composed of Dan Kasprzyk (Chair, representing the Social Statistics Section), Fritz Scheuren (representing the Washington Statistical Society),

and Dan Levine ( representing the Government Statistics Section), discussed the issue of reauthorization of the award with the executive boards of each sponsoring organization this summer and fall.

Each sponsor authorized the continuation of the award for five years (through 2004). Committee members will serve for three years; the last year of the appointment he/she will serve as chair. To begin the three year appointment cycle, Lynda Carlson (Energy Information Administration) will replace Dan Levine as the representative for the Government Statistics Section. Dan Kasprzyk will chair the committee in 1999.

A nomination form for the 1999 Herriot Award can be obtained by contacting Daniel Kasprzyk by phone: (202)-219-1588; fax: (202)-219-1325; or e-mail: Nomination forms should be returned to the Roger Herriot Award Committee c/o Daniel Kasprzyk, 4906 Colonel Contee Place, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772-2875.

Nomination forms must be received by May 1999.


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Social Statistics Section Plans for JSM 1999 in Baltimore

Stephanie Shipp

Social Statistics Program Chair

Invited Sessions

Four invited sessions are planned by the Social Statistics section for the Joint Statistical Meetings to be held from August 8-12, 1999 in Baltimore Maryland:

Statisticians and the Press -A Shared Responsibility: A Panel Discussion; Marty Riche, former Census Bureau Director, organized and will chair the Statisticians and the Press Panel discussion. Steve Holmes, New York Times, Harold Jackson, Baltimore Sun, John Barry, Washington Post, and Haya El Nasser, USA Today are the panelists. They will focus on how they write

statistics-based stories in terms that the average newspaper reader will read and understand. This requires an eye for finding the story in the data. That's the reporter's responsibility, just as producing statistics scientifically is the statistician's responsibility. How can statisticians and reporters work together to meet our mutual responsibility of accuracy and objectivity?

Measuring Poverty: Questions, Approaches, and Findings; Dan Weinberg, Census Bureau, organized the session on Measuring Poverty. Bill O'Hare, Annie Casey Foundation, will chair the session. Kathleen Short, Pat Doyle, Don Hernandez, John Iceland and Mary Naifeh, Census Bureau, and Thesia Garner and David Johnson, Bureau of Labor Statistics, are the co-authors. Their presentation will summarize new findings described in a report presenting alternative poverty measures. To be released in the spring of 1999, the report will present an array of alternative poverty measures based primarily on the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences. As a result of the release of this report, and subsequent discussion and comment, additional research will be underway. Robert Moffitt, Johns Hopkins University, Mark Carl Rom, Georgetown University, and Kathy Porter, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are the discussants.

Measuring Personal and National Human Capital; Camilo Dagum, University of Bologna, Italy, is the organizer, chair, and paper presenter for the session on Measuring Personal and National Human Capital. He will focus on two major interrelated issues, the estimation of national and personal human capital and the distribution of the latter. Camilo will present a new approach where national human capital is estimated on the basis of the life cycle mean earned income. Personal human capital is then estimated as a dimensionless endogenous latent variable and then, using as a benchmark the national human capital estimate, for the first time in the literature, personal human capital in money value is obtained. A distribution model is fitted to the latter and policy implications on issues of economic growth with economic efficiency and social equity are advanced. His co-author is Daniel J. Slottje, Southern Methodist University. The discussants are Robert Lerman, Urban Institute, Esfandiar Maasoumi, Southern Methodist University, and Giorgio Vittadini, University of Milan.

Speaking in Tongues: How Statisticians, Economists, and Psychologists Communicate Within Their Own Group and Among Each Other: A Panel Discussion. Eva Jacobs, former Division Chief of the Consumer Expenditure Surveys at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, organized the panel on Speaking in Tongues: How Statisticians, Economists, and Psychologists Communicate Within Their Own Group and Among Each Other. Nancy Gordon, Bureau of the Census, will chair the session. The panelists are Brent Moulton, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Clyde Tucker, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Robert Groves, University of Maryland, and Judy Tanur, State University of New York at Stony Brook. They will discuss how statisticians across the social science and scientific fields work together, yet their productivity is often hampered by their inability to communicate clearly with each other and to cooperate to reach their goals. What are the obstacles to these partnerships and how are they overcome? How do we translate this model into other areas?

Social Statistics Plans

Roundtables in 99

Current plans include these very interesting roundtables:

Experimental Poverty Measures Kathleen Short, Census Bureau.

Measuring the Impact of Welfare Reform Patricia Ruggles, HHS.

Single Parents in the Workforce Barbara Gault, Institute for Women Policy Research.

The Consumer Price Index Revision Dennis Fixler, BLS.

You Are Here: the Interaction of Science and Politics in Planning the 2000 Census

Andrew A. White, National Academy of Sciences.

...and invited paper sessions in 2000 in Indianapolis. Help us plan! We are in the planning stages for the 2000 meetings. Please send your exciting ideas to Elizabeth Stasny, Program Chair-Elect at

Government Statistics Section Plans for JSM 1999 in Baltimore

Invited Paper Sessions

The Government Statistics Section is sponsoring a large and broad series of sessions at Baltimore that will be of interest to anyone involved in government statistics. The section is sponsoring three invited sessions.

Risk Communication, organized by Mark Moran, is the first session and deals with risk communication and assessment in government policies and programs.

The second session, organized by Patricia Doyle, follows up on the impacts of the devolution of welfare reform and is entitled Evaluating Program Participation and Benefits After Welfare Reform.

The third invited session is organized by Martin David and follows up on the important set of workshops he ran for the Joint Program on Statistical Methodology last year. The session is entitled Innovations in Economic Measurement.

Invited Poster Session

On Sunday, GSS will be sponsoring an Invited Poster Session by Peter Paul deWolf of Statistics Netherlands who will be demonstrating their disclosure control program, ARGUS and also the newest techniques such as Post Randomization for micro data and suppression and rounding of hierarchical tables.

Special Contributed Sessions

The Section will also be sponsoring ten Special Contributed Sessions. These are:

Statistical Uses of Administrative Records, organized by Wendy Alvey.

Federal/State Cooperative Statistical System at BLS, organized by Shail Butani.

Using Cognitive Techniques for Establishment and Customer Surveys in Federal Government Surveys, organized by Lynda Carlson.

Privacy and Confidentiality Issues in Government Surveys, organized by Virginia deWolf.

Confidentiality and Criminal Justice Statistics--A Panel Discussion of Rare Populations, organized by Joseph Moone.

Analyses of Administrative Records from the U.S. Tax System, organized by Tom Petska.

Statistics, Human Rights and Ethics: Some Goods and Bads, organized by William Seltzer.

Using Statistics to Answer Policy Questions: A Case Study, organized by Carolyn Shettle.

Government Data Sets on Disabilities --What is New?, organized by Cynthia Thomas.

Electronic Dissemination and Media for Federal Statistics, organized by Mark Wallace.


Contributed Sessions

In addition, the section is sponsoring four contributed sessions:

Robust Estimates, GIS Applications, Analysis of Juries, Minority Purchasing and More

Measurement Issues in the Census and Other Surveys

Demographic Analysis, Population Estimation, Imputation, Response Rates and Other Statistical Issues

Consumer Prices, Metropolitan Areas, Current Employment, and Gross State Product -- Methodology and Estimation





The role of social science lies not in the formation of social policy, but in the measurement of its results. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1969

On August 22, 1996, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which became Public Law 104-193. This legislation is often referred to as the welfare reform act. The legislation directed the Census Bureau to collect

data necessary to evaluate the impact of the law from households previously interviewed in the 1992 and 1993 Survey of Income and Program Participation panels. These households will be followed annually from 1997 to 2002, thus providing longitudinal data for ten years. This survey, the Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD) will simultaneously describe the full range of state welfare programs along with social, economic, demographic and family changes that will help or limit the effectiveness of the reforms.

The goals of the welfare reform legislation are to end welfare dependence by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage, preventing out-of-wedlock births, encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families, and providing states increased flexibility to achieve these goals. States are moving away from a welfare system based on entitlement towards ones focused on assistance in finding employment and self-sufficiency. Thus, the primary goals of the SPD are to provide information on spells of actual and potential program participation over a ten-year period, 1992 to 2001, and to examine the causes of program participation and its long-term effects on the well-being of recipients, their families, and their children. The SPD will provide a convincing set of baseline data. Researchers analyzing these data will use pre-reform characteristics of the population to control for preexisting differences among households in order to evaluate post-reform outcomes for the same population.

The SPD has a core instrument that essentially remains the same over the 1998-2002 period. Core data are collected on employment, income, program participation, health insurance and utilization, child well-being, marital relationships, and parents? depression. The SPD also has topical modules that vary by year. The self-administered adolescent questionnaire is asked in 1998 and 2001. Additional child-related questions will be asked in 1999 and 2002. Residential histories of children are asked once in 2000.

The plans are to issue two kinds of files:Interim calendar year files designed to support preliminary analysis of income and program participation among the original cohort.

Longitudinal files reflecting consistently-formatted data from the information common to the multiple instruments used to collect the data supplemented with cross-sectionally processed data arising from topics that vary over time.

The longitudinal files to be issued will resemble the SIPP longitudinal files in format. There will be a record for each person, reflecting the original cohort plus persons with whom these people resided. Each longitudinal variable will be replicated ten times reflecting the ten potential years of repetitions of the questions. The information repeated across several SPD surveys will appear in the person record following the data common across the SIPP panels, the Bridge Survey, and the SPD. The additional SPD data will appear at the end of the persons record. Additional SIPP information will be accessible from other files that can easily be linked to the SPD longitudinal files.

The first longitudinal file to be produced will have data covering the 1992/1993 through 1997 time frame. Data from the 1992 and 1993 SIPP panels, the 1997 bridge survey, and the 1998 SPD survey will be used for this first longitudinal file. The second longitudinal file will repeat the first and extend the reference period to 1999 (adding in the 2000 SPD) and the last file will add in data for 2000 and 2001 collected in the 2001 and 2002 SPD.

The Survey of Program Dynamics is an important source of longitudinal, national data on welfare reform. Results from the SPD will help researchers understand the impacts of welfare reform on the well being of families and children. We will know if welfare recipients find jobs, the quality of the jobs, and the types of support they need to make the transitions from welfare to work. We will also be able to study those families and individuals that have left the welfare rolls by choice or due to time limits but are not working.

For more detail about the SPD, visit the Census web site at








Breaking News Census 2000

After review of the recent Supreme Court opinion on the Census and the results of the dress rehearsal, the Census Bureau has released a new plan for Census 2000. Census Bureau Director, Kenneth Prewitt, presented these details at a news conference on February 24, 1999. Details of the plan plus breaking news about Census 2000 can be found on the Census Bureau website at


Don't forget to Cast Your Vote! You should have your ballot for choosing officers for 2000.



As a follow-on to OMB's October 1997 announcement of revised government-wide standards for the collection of data on race and ethnicity, the Tabulation Working Group of the Interagency Committee for the Review of Standards for Data on Race and Ethnicity has recently issued a report, "Draft Provisional Guidance on the Implementation of the 1997 Standards for the Collection of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity." This guidance, which has been developed with the involvement of many Federal agencies, essentially was requested by those agencies and the many users of data on race and ethnicity.

The guidance focuses on three areas: collecting data using the new standards, tabulating data collected under the new standards, and building bridges to compare data collected under the new and the old standards. At this juncture, the guidance is often in the form of alternatives for discussion rather than recommendations for implementation. In many areas work is ongoing, and the guidance will be amended as additional research and analyses are completed.

At this juncture, OMB is seeking broader comment on the guidance. In keeping with the process that guided review and revision of the standards for data on race and ethnicity, they are looking forward to an open dialogue on this draft provisional guidance. Following a two month period for discussion by stakeholders within and outside government, they expect to issue provisional guidance at the end of April. They expect the guidance issued at that time will evolve further as data from Census 2000 and other data collections employing the new collection standards become available.

Nominations Form for ASA Offices

Each year, the Committee on Nominations asks members to suggest names to be considered in choosing candidates for national office. This year the Committee is attempting to capture this information primarily in an electronic form.

The suggestion form has been revised in order to capture more information that will be useful to the Committee in determining final candidates. Members are encouraged to submit as much information about the suggested candidate as they have available. The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 17, 1999.

Those wishing to make suggestions for multiple offices must submit each nomination separately. After submitting an initial nomination, this form will provide an option for subsequent nominations. For details go to on the internet.



on it

There is a brand new look to the American Statistical Association home page- Amstat online,

The long-awaited redesign is unveiled and you can send suggestions and comments about how much you like it.

Also, there is a lot of important information here as well as opportunities for you to seek employment opportunities, or

update your membership listing whenever you want.

Click on NEWS and get the latest on ASA Fellowships and Awards. You can get the latest news about elections of your officers.

You can visit the JOB SITE to find exciting new professional opportunities.

You can read the full text of David Moore's Presidential Address "Statistics Among the Liberal Arts"

Also available on line are the JSM Abstract Submission forms for the 1999 meetings in Baltimore to make submitting your papers easier than ever. While there, click on the link to the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association to make your sightseeing and dining plans for August.

Click on PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT and find out about Continuing Education Courses, and professional level courses, fellowships and grants.

Click on LINKS AND RESOURCES to read about sections and chapters you may want to join, other statistical societies and related web sites and electronic resources.

Look for PUBLICATIONS to find out about Journals -- the Journal of Statistics Education is now available on line. Read the Amstat News online here


Section Contacts

SSS Officers: 1999

Edith McArthur, Chair(1999)

National Center for Education Statistics

555 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20208

voice: (202) 219-1442fax: (202) 219-1575

Margo Anderson, Chair(1998)

University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee

Department of History

Milwaukee, WI 53201

voice: (414) 229 4361fax: (414) 229 2435)

Judith Tanur, Chair(2000)

SUNY at Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY

voice: (516) 246-7115fax: (516) 632-8203


Martha Hill, Secretary/Treasurer(1998 and 1999)

Institute for Social Research

University of Michigan

PO Box 1248

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248

voice: (734) 763 2348fax: (734) 747-4575


Stephanie Shipp, Program Chair(1999)

HHES Division, Room 1071 FOB 3

Bureau of the CensusWashington, D.C. 20233

voice: (301) 457-3246fax: (301) 457-3248


Elizabeth Stasny, Program Chair(2000)

Department of Statistics

Ohio State University

1958 Neil Ave., 148D Cockins Hall

Columbus OH 43210-1247 voice: (614) 292-0784


Kathleen Short, Publications Officer (1999 and 2000)

Bureau of the CensusRm 1472 (HHES)

Washington, D.C. 20233-3300

voice: (301) 457-3213fax: (301)457-3276


Constance Citro, Council of Sections Representative(1998 - 2000)

Committee on National Statistics

National Academy of Sciences

2101 Constitution Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20428-0006

voice: (202) 334 3096fax: (202) 334-3751


Marie G. Argana, Staff Liaison6/95 - 12/99

American Statistical Association
732 N. Washington St.

Alexandria, VA 22314-1943

voice: (703) 684-1221fax: (703) 684-2037

GSS Officers: 1999

Michael L. Cohen, Chair (1999)

9005 Walden Road

Silver Spring, MD 20901-3826

(202) 334-3765


Cynthia Z.F. Clark, Past Chair (1998)

6928 Butternut Court

McLean, VA 22101-1506

(301) 457-2160


Pat J. Doyle, Chair (2000)

Demographic Surveys Division

Bureau of the Census

Washington, DC 20233

(301) 457-3795


Lynda Carlson, Program Chair (1999)

Energy Information Administration

1000 Independence Ave., SW EI-70

Washington, DC 20585

(202) 426-1068


John L. Czajka, Program Chair (2000)

Mathematica Policy Research

600 Maryland Ave SW

Suite 550

Washington, D.C. 20024-2520

(202) 484-4685


Dorothy Harshbarger, Secretary/Treasurer

Alabama Deptartment of Public Health

P.O. Box 5625

Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5625

(334) 206-5426


Signe Wetrogan, Publications Officer

Population Division

Bureau of the Census

Washington, DC 20233-3700

(301) 457-2093


Carolyn Shettle, Council of Sections Rep.

5504 Uppingham St.

Chevy Chase, MD 20815

(301) 657-2825


Robert G. Lehnen, Rep. to COPAFS

Indiana University


801 W. Michigan St.

Indianapolis, IN 46202

(317) 274-3466


Linda H. Gage, Rep. to COPAFS

Department of Finance

915 L Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 323-4086


GSS Newsletter SSS


Kathleen Short.................SSS

Signe Wetrogan................GSS

The GSS/SSS Newsletter is published periodically for members of the Social and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association, 732 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1943.

Government Statistics Section pages prepared by:     Bill Wong.