Predicting the Effect of Adding a Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census

12-1 pm

PSTC Seminar Room 205

Misty Heggeness, Principal Economist and Senior Advisor for Evaluations & Experiments, US Census Bureau

In December 2017, the Census Bureau was asked to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census to enhance a table produced annually by the Census Bureau, the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) table. This talk describes the analytical work that took place within the Census Bureau by a team of leading scientists following the original request to add the question. Evidence will be presented as to the potential impact of adding a sensitive question like citizenship on a full count decennial census, and the analytical landscape used to exhaust all in-house data during what would turn out to be a very time-sensitive, high-profile policy issue will be described.

Misty L. Heggeness is a Principal Economist and Senior Advisor for Evaluations and Experiments at the U.S. Census Bureau where she leads efforts to streamline and reengineer data protocols and use within the federal statistical system. Her research interests focus on finding and joining obscure data to answer interesting policy-relevant questions. She has conducted impact evaluations in developing countries, studied the impact of divorce policy on children's education, examined the impact of training on the scientific enterprise, and, most recently, she has used data at the Census Bureau to show that spouse's underreport wives' earnings when the wife earns more.