Comparing Measures of Earnings Instability Based on Survey and Adminstrative Reports
AbstractIn Celik, Juhn, McCue, and Thompson (2009), we found that estimated levels of earnings instability based on data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) were reasonably close to each other and to others’ estimates from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), but estimates from unemployment insurance (UI) earnings were much larger. Given that the UI data are from administrative records which are often posited to be more accurate than survey reports, this raises concerns that measures based on survey data understate true earnings instability. To address this, we use links between survey samples from the SIPP and UI earnings records in the LEHD database to identify sources of differences in work history and earnings information. Substantial work has been done comparing earnings levels from administrative records to those collected in the SIPP and CPS, but our understanding of earnings instability would benefit from further examination of differences across sources in the properties of changes in earnings. We first compare characteristics of the overall and matched samples to address issues of selection in the matching process. We then compare earnings levels and jobs in the SIPP and LEHD data to identify differences between them. Finally we begin to examine how such differences affect estimates of earnings instability. Our preliminary findings suggest that differences in earnings changes for those in the lower tail of the earnings distribution account for much of the difference in instability estimates.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 10-15.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Ziliak, James P. & Hardy, Bradley & Bollinger, Christopher, 2011. "Earnings volatility in America: Evidence from matched CPS," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 742-754.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fariha Kamal).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.