Thursday, September 16, 2010

PALS 2006


I had to do some deep reading to remember why the frequencies in PALS 2006 are so different between the full data set (72,167 cases) and the user guide (17,423 cases), and once again thrilled to the charming explanation of the differences between the original documented record layout and the SAS and SPSS syntax files 8-)

However, now I have a new query. On page 322 of the User guide, we find the following frequencies for variable TENURP:

-5 Not stated 0 0
1 BAND HOUSING 79 13,329
2 NOT APPLICABLE 4,573 1,184,265
3 OWNED BY MEMBER OF HHLD 12,771 2,965,102
4 RENTED 0 0
====== =========
17,423 4,162,696

Hmmmmmmmmmm - no renters anywhere in Canada! And about 26.2% of us live in not applicable housing...the mind boggles, but at least in the midst of Easter, one can think of a few explanations, although I would be sorry to see any of them in a codebook.

Unfortunately, the SAS and SPSS syntax files also contain this error, so the odesi, SDA, and Equinox implementations of this file are all wrong.

Could we get confirmation from the relevant department that value 2 should be 'rented', and 4 'not applicable'?

Thanks in advance!


Our contacts have looked into your question with a methodologist and there is an error in the PALS 2006 user guide for the variable TENURP. For your reference, the explanation I received from our contacts follows.

"It turns out that there was a system error in the dictionary database when switching from RDC to PUMF resulting in discrepancies in how categories were labeled.

The original PUMF statistics are:
79 = "Band Housing"
4,573 = "Not Applicable"
12,771 = "Owned"
0 = "Rent"

The correct PUMF statistics are:
79 = "Not Applicable"
4,573 = "Band Housing and Rented" (i.e., Rented is a not a separate category in PUMF)
12,771 = "Owned"

The "Not stated" and "Rented" should have been removed from PUMF hence why there are 0 counts for both. The corresponding weights are the same."

I have asked our contacts for a corrected version of the user guide and of any other files affected by this error. We will make them available through the DLI FTP and website as soon as we receive them.

Thank you once for bringing this to our attention.

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