Projecting from Advance Data Using Propensity Modeling: An Application to Income and Tax Statistics

This article proposes and evaluates two new methods of reweighting preliminary data to obtain estimates more closely approximating those derived from the final data set. In our motivating example, the preliminary data are an early sample of tax returns, and the final data set is the sample after all tax returns have been processed. The new methods estimate a predicted propensity for late filing for each return in the advance sample and then poststratify based on these propensity scores. Using advance and complete sample data for 1982, we demonstrate that the new methods produce advance estimates generally much closer to the final estimates than those derived from the current advance estimation techniques. The results demonstrate the value of propensity modeling, a general-purpose methodology that can be applied to a wide range of problems, including adjustment for unit nonresponse and frame undercoverage as well as statistical matching.