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In contrast to the many public-use microdata samples available for individual and household data from many statistical agencies around the world, there are virtually no establishment or firm microdata available. In large part, this difficulty in providing access to business micro data is due to the skewed and sparse distributions that characterize business data. Synthetic data are simulated data generated from statistical models. We organized sessions at the 2015 World Statistical Congress and the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings, highlighting work on synthetic \emph{establishment} microdata. This overview situates those papers, published in this issue, within the broader literature.


Presented at World Statistical Congress 2015 and Joint Statistical Meetings 2015. Abowd and Vilhuber acknowledge support through NSF Grant SES-1042181. Reiter acknowledges support through NSF grant SES-11-31897.