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The Sensitivity of Economic Statistics to Coding Errors in Personal Identifiers

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  • John M. Abowd
  • Lars Vilhuber

Abstract

In this paper, we describe the sensitivity of small-cell flow statistics to coding errors in the identity of the underlying entities. Specifically, we present results based on a comparison of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) before and after correcting for such errors in SSN-based identifiers in the underlying individual wage records. The correction used involves a novel application of existing statistical matching techniques. It is found that even a very conservative correction procedure has a sizable impact on the statistics. The average bias ranges from 0.25 percent up to 15 percent for flow statistics, and up to 5 percent for payroll aggregates.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/tp/tp-2002-17.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2003
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers with number 2002-17.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision: Mar 2003
Publication status: Published in Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, April 2005, pages 133-152.
Handle: RePEc:cen:tpaper:2002-17

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Related research

Keywords: Flow statistics; Probabilistic matching; Transitions; Tenure; Job flows; Job creation; QWI;

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References

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  1. Simon Burgess & Julia Lane & David Stevens, 1996. "Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning," Labor and Demography 9604004, EconWPA.
  2. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  5. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "The Creation of the Employment Dynamics Estimates," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Audra Bowlus & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "Displaced workers, early leavers, and re-employment wages," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. John Abowd & Bryce Stephens & Lars Vilhuber, 2006. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2006-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Till von Wachter & Elizabeth Handwerker & Andrew Hildreth, 2009. "Estimating the "True" Cost of Job Loss: Evidence Using Matched Data from Califormia 1991-2000," Working Papers 09-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Abowd, John M. & Vilhuber, Lars, 2011. "National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the Quarterly Workforce Indicators with demographic and industry detail," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 82-99, March.
  4. Abowd, John M. & Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia & McKinney, Kevin Lee & Sandusky, L. Kristin, 2007. "Technology and the Demand for Skill: An Analysis of Within and Between Firm Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 2707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Audra Bowlus & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "Displaced workers, early leavers, and re-employment wages," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C1-1, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  6. Fredrik Andersson & Harry J. Holzer & Julia Lane, 2009. "Temporary Help Agencies and the Advancement Prospects of Low Earners," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 373-398 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John J. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 224-229, May.
  8. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
  9. John Abowd & Martha Stinson, 2011. "Estimating Measurement Error in SIPP Annual Job Earnings: A Comparison of Census Bureau Survey and SSA Administrative Data," Working Papers 11-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Hethey-Maier, Tanja & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2013. "Does the Use of Worker Flows Improve the Analysis of Establishment Turnover? Evidence from German Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Kevin McKinney & Lars Vilhuber, 2006. "Using linked employer-employee data to investigate the speed of adjustments in downsizing firms," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2006-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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