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A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents

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  • Brigitte C. Madrian
  • Lars John Lefgren

Abstract

In this paper, we propose an approach for evaluating the trade-offs inherent in different approaches used to match Current Population Survey (CPS) respondents across various CPS surveys. Because there is some measurement error in both the variables used to identify individuals over time and in the characteristics of individuals at any point in time, any procedure used to match CPS respondents has the possibility of both generating incorrect matches and failing to generate potentially valid matches. We propose using the information contained in the variable on whether an individual lived in the same house on March 1 of the previous year as a way to gauge these trade-offs. We find that as measured by reported residence one year ago, increasing the fraction of 'invalid' merges that are rejected usually comes at a cost of decreasing the fraction of 'valid' merges that are retained. However, there are clearly some approaches that are superior to others in the sense that they result in both a higher fraction of 'invalid' merges being rejected and a higher fraction of 'valid' merges being retained. The programs to implement CPS matching across years in this paper are available .

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0247.

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Date of creation: Nov 1999
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Publication status: published as Madrian, Brigitte C. and Lars John Lefgren. "An Approach To Longitudinally Matching Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 2000, v26(1), 31-62.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0247

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  1. David M. Cutler & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Labor Market Responses to Rising Health Insurance Costs: Evidence on Hours Worked," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 509-530, Autumn.
  2. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  3. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  4. Finis Welch, 1993. "Matching the Current Population Surveys," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(12).
  5. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment and Enrollment: Evidence from Matched CPS Surveys," NBER Working Papers 5092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Peracchi, Franco & Welch, Finis, 1994. "Trends in Labor Force Transitions of Older Men and Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 210-42, April.
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