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Journal Article

The feasibility of linking household survey and administrative record data: new evidence for Britain


Publication date



Linkage of household survey responses with administrative data is increasingly on the agenda. Unique individual identifiers have clear benefits for making linkages but are also subject to problems of survey item non-response and measurement error. Our experimental study that linked survey responses to UK government agency records on benefits and tax credits elucidates this trade-off. We compare five linkage criteria: one based on a respondent-supplied National Insurance Number (NINO) and the other four using different combinations of sex, name, address and date of birth. As many linkages were made using non-NINO-based matches as were made using matches on NINO and the former were also relatively accurate when assessed in terms of false-positive and false-negative linkage rates. The potential returns from hierarchical and pooled matching are also examined.

Published in

International Journal of Social Research Methodology

Volume and page numbers

11 (1):29-43 , 29 -43




Online in A/S except current year; Originally [iFirst] 2007 Nov.; serial sequence - indexed article

Related publications

  1. Linking household survey and administrative record data: what should the matching variables be?

    Stephen P. Jenkins, Peter Lynn, Annette Jäckle, et al.


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