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Consistency refers to logical and numerical coherence.

An estimator is called consistent if it converges in probability to its estimand as sample increases (The International Statistical Institute, "The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms", edited by Yadolah Dodge, Oxford University Press, 2003).

Consistency over time, within datasets and across datasets (often referred to as inter-sectoral consistency) are major aspects of consistency. In each, consistency in a looser sense carries the notion of "at least reconcilable." For example, if two series purporting to cover the same phenomena differ, the differences in time of recording, valuation, and coverage should be identified so that the series can be reconciled.

Inconsistency over time refers to revisions that lead to breaks in series stemming from, for example, changes in concepts, definitions, and methodology.

Inconsistency within datasets may exist, for example, when two sides of an implied balancing statement-assets and liabilities or inflows and outflows - do not balance.

Inconsistency across datasets may exist when, for example, exports and imports in the national accounts do not reconcile with exports and imports within the balance or payments.

Within the IMF definition of quality, "consistency" is one of the elements of "serviceability".

Source Publication:
International Monetary Fund, "Data Quality Assessment Framework – DQAF – Glossary", unpublished.

Cross References:
Consistency check
Consistency edit
Consistency error
Consistency in aggregation
Quality – IMF

Statistical Theme: Quality, statistical

Glossary Output Segments:

Created on Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Last updated on Monday, April 15, 2013