Thursday, March 6, 2014

LADs Access


I have a researcher who is in need of an LAD because he needs RRSP and Tax Free Savings Account contributions and withdrawals along with income. From his understanding, the TFSA variables recently added to the LAD after agreements with CRA were finalized. Is this the case?


Yes, the LAD has both TFSA and RRSP contributions and withdrawals. There is no variable for the size of RRSP holdings.

Regarding your request for LAD data. Due to the highly confidential nature of the LAD data, and given our agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding which persons may gain direct access to the LAD data, we do not supply LAD data outside of Statistics Canada, either through the DLI (data liberation initiative) or through the RDCs (Research Data Centres) at this time.

Regarding the cost for obtaining data results from the LAD, all of the prices for custom tables and other output of LAD data are based on a cost-recovery basis. This cost covers the cost of a Statistics Canada analyst performing the necessary functions to obtain any custom requests. There are two possible avenues for a client to obtain the custom output information for their work.

In the first option, a client may choose to send to Statistics Canada custom statistical program(s) written using SAS or STATA software, which we will then submit on our computer system to manipulate the LAD data. Following a check for confidentiality, we will provide then to the client checked custom output. The cost associated with this choice covers the cost of a Statistics Canada analyst submitting the client's programs and also the cost of checking the custom output to ensure the results meet Statistics Canada's confidentiality requirements for data release. The costs associated with this option are generally cheaper than those for the second option since the client would be doing most of the work writing the programs. However, this option generally requires that a client will have some facility with SAS or STATA and knowledge of the LAD, as the data are quite complex to work with.

The second option would be for the client to have a Statistics Canada analyst familiar with the LAD, perform the work of writing and submitting the statistical programs necessary to generate the output and results from the LAD. This could be more expensive since the Statistics Canada analyst would be writing the statistical programs as well as submitting them and providing a confidentiality check of the results. However, it can sometimes save time since the analyst will be familiar with the complex nature of the LAD data.

In both these options, there is a cost for the analyst's time. Most of our clients using these options budget about $5,000 for a smaller project, with some of the more complex projects exceeding $20,000. Again, these costs can vary depending on the researcher's knowledge of LAD, facility with SAS or STATA, their research questions, and whether they choose the first or the second option.

Unfortunately, there is very little information provided in the request regarding what you wish to investigate or what the main research question(s) is(are).

It would be somewhat helpful to know what you wish to investigate because it may be that the LAD is not the best source of information for you and there may be other sources of data that could potentially serve the same purpose.