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## Less is more

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**The statistical units model and integration Less is moreWim**KloekSession 32Q2010 Helsinki, 4 to 6 May 2010**Less is more**Ludwig Mies van der Rohe • Transparent • Easy to analyse in parts • Easy to extend**The system of statistical units**• Backbone of the system of business statistics • Defines the relations between the parts • Defines the breakdowns and aggregations • Basis for data collection, for data processing and for dissemination; embedded in the business register and in data warehouses**Data integration**• Over statistical domains (generating new output) • Over countries (comparability and adding to EU totals) Results in: higher efficiency, better quality and more output**Requires standards**• Statistical units • Definitions • Classifications**Current situation**• More stovepipe regulations • Incomplete implementation of the statistical units regulation • Considerable room for national interpretations (especially on the criterion autonomy)**Proposed solution**• Reduce the number of statistical units • Stick to the actors approach • Clarify the operational definitions**Reduce the number of statistical units**• Directly improves the potential integration over statistical domains • Simplifies the explanation of remaining differences • Harmonises national business registers and data warehouses Courageous proposal: three units**Actors approach**• Meaningful analysis of macro data in meso and micro data • What is the actor depends on the variable concerned • Reduce to the core economic variables (describing the production process and describing financial processes) • The actor in the production of value added (‘the enterprise’) should be used in other domains**Clarify the operational definitions**The actual delineation of statistical units involves an integrated decision on several relations at the same time: • What is the actor for financial processes? • What the actor(s) for production processes? • What is the link to legal units? • What is the link to locations? Autonomy: operational criteria Link to legal units:different over countries**The local unit**• Not an actor, but a location • Useful for the description of the local labour market or the local service level • Lower threshold difficult to define, both in theory and in practice • The find a location for all economic activities becomes more dubious**The EuroGroups Register (EGR)**Common register of large multinational enterprises provide a shared and coordinated basis for the production of statistics: process integration • Efficient (one time profiling) • Improved comparability: same units and classifications • Further harmonisation of national profiling**Less is more**• Transparent: easy to communicate • Easy to analyse in parts • Easy to extend