Panel Paper: Adventures in Government Organization: Tales of Legal Research in Providing Uniform Measures of Government Activity

Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 1:45 PM
Salon III B (Ritz Carlton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Joseph Dalaker and Elizabeth Accetta, US Census Bureau
The Census Bureau measures state and local government activity through the Census of Governments and related surveys.  The data produced from these efforts are standardized across states, and thus are perhaps the only nationwide datasets that allow for comparability both across states and on a national basis.  Even with this standardization, the activities of 50 different state political systems present unique challenges to those who collect and use these data.  We will introduce the legislative research process conducted by Census Bureau staff to classify governments and their activities, and use specific case studies to illustrate the value added and challenges encountered when we conduct that classification.  Through these illustrations, we will offer a perspective that enables data users to delve into the data with a more thorough and accurate understanding, allowing them to formulate more accurate analyses.

Full Paper: