Record linkage in the Cape of Good Hope Panel

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2018
 
Publication date: May 2018
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of History, Utrecht University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
 
Abstract:

In this paper we describe the record linkage procedure to create a panel from Cape Colony census returns, or opgaafrolle, for 1787--1828, a dataset of 42,354 household-level observations. Based on a subset of manually linked records, we first evaluate statistical models and deterministic algorithms to best identify and match households over time. By using household-level characteristics in the linking process and near-annual data, we are able to create high-quality links for 84 percent of the dataset. We compare basic analyses on the linked panel dataset to the original cross-sectional data, evaluate the feasibility of the strategy when linking to supplementary sources, and discuss the scalability of our approach to the full Cape panel.

 
JEL Classification:

N01, C81

Keywords:

census, machine learning, micro-data, record linkage, panel data, South Africa

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BER Weekly

14 June 2021
What a week it has been. Globally, US CPI inflation again rose by more than expected in May, exceeding 5% y-o-y for the first time since 2008. In most other weeks, this may have attracted a lot of local attention. However, in this case, the US news was overshadowed by several crucial SA-focused developments....

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