1504.0 - Methodological News, Sep 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/09/2008   
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ABS Analytical Community Sets Focus for 2008-09

The ABS Analytical Community was established in mid-2007, through the creation and collaboration of the three analysis branches in the Bureau: Analytical Services Branch, Economic Analysis and Reporting Branch, and Social Analysis and Reporting Branch. The aim of the Community is to undertake methodological and applied policy-relevant analysis in order to enhance the value-add of ABS data and products.

The 2008-09 work program for the Analytical Community has been developed and reflects a number of emerging issues in Australian government and the community. Key areas of focus for the work program include the following:

1) Methodological analysis and research
    • expanding the use of hedonic regression methodology to cover laptop computers and other consumer durables;
    • investigating the methodological issues in R&D capitalisation in the National Accounts;
    • examining the feasibility of pooling and analysing data from different surveys;
    • developing and validating measures of social capital; and
    • maintaining and developing the small area estimation program.

2) Economic analysis and research
    • exploring the links between IT, innovation and productivity;
    • analysing business lifecycles using administrative data;
    • analysing the characteristics of younger, smaller Australian businesses; and
    • disaggregating human capital stocks and flows estimates by industry and by occupation.

3) Social analysis and research
    • analysing prisons data to explore trends in serious crime;
    • investigating and analysing housing affordability; and
    • investigating voluntary work data collected by the 2006 Census.

The 2008-09 analysis forward work program was compiled through a process of internal and external user consultation, including the establishment of an external analysis reference group which is comprised of senior representatives from a range of Government agencies, as well representation from the academic sector.

The ABS remains committed to undertaking relevant and high quality analysis to better inform Government and community decision-making.

For more information, contact Jill Charker on (02) 62527290 or jill.charker@abs.gov.au.