Inaccurate age and sex data in the Census PUMS files: evidence and implications
AbstractWe discover and document errors in public use microdata samples ("PUMS files") of the 2000 Census, the 2003-2006 American Community Survey, and the 2004-2009 Current Population Survey. For women and men ages 65 and older, age- and sex-specific population estimates generated from the PUMS files differ by as much as 15% from counts in published data tables. Moreover, an analysis of labor force participation and marriage rates suggests the PUMS samples are not representative of the population at individual ages for those ages 65 and over. PUMS files substantially underestimate labor force participation of those near retirement ages and overestimate labor force participation rates of those at older ages. These problems were an unintentional by-product of the misapplication of a newer generation of disclosure avoidance procedures carried out on the data. The resulting errors in the public use data could significantly impact studies of people ages 65 and older, particularly analyses of variables that are expected to change by age.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010-03.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- J. Trent Alexander & Michael Davern & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Inaccurate Age and Sex Data in the Census PUMS Files: Evidence and Implications," CESifo Working Paper Series 2929, CESifo Group Munich.
- J. Trent Alexander & Michael Davern & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Inaccurate age and sex data in the Census PUMS files: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 15703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
- C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
- C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
- J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2010-03-13 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2010-03-13 (Labour Economics)
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