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The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database

In: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues

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  • Kenneth R. Troske

Abstract

A data set combining information on the characteristics of both workers and their employers has long been a grail for labor economists. The reason for this interest is that while a number of theoretical models in labor economics stress the importance of employer-employee matching in determining labor market outcomes, almost all empirical work relies on either worker surveys with little information about employers or establishment surveys with little information about workers. The Worker-Establishment Characteristic Database (WECD) represents just such an employer-employee-matched database. Containing 199,557 manufacturing workers matched to 16,144 manufacturing establishments, the WECD is the largest worker-firm matched data set available for the U.S. This paper describes how this data set was constructed and assesses the usefulness of these data for economic research. In addition, I discuss some of the issues that can be addressed using employer-employee-matched data and plans for creating future versions of the WECD.

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This chapter was published in:

  • John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8366.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8366

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    1. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
    3. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
    4. David Neumark & Sanders D. Korenman, 1988. "Does marriage really make men more productive?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Walter Oi, 1983. "The Fixed Employment Costs of Specialized Labor," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Labor Cost, pages 63-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
    7. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
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