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Less is more

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Less is more

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  1. The statistical units model and integration Less is moreWim KloekSession 32Q2010 Helsinki, 4 to 6 May 2010

  2. Less is more Ludwig Mies van der Rohe • Transparent • Easy to analyse in parts • Easy to extend

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Requires standards • Statistical units • Definitions • Classifications

  6. Statistical units production process, 1997

  7. Current situation • More stovepipe regulations • Incomplete implementation of the statistical units regulation • Considerable room for national interpretations (especially on the criterion autonomy)

  8. Proposed solution • Reduce the number of statistical units • Stick to the actors approach • Clarify the operational definitions

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Less is more • Transparent: easy to communicate • Easy to analyse in parts • Easy to extend