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Retrospective Error in SOEP Calendar Data: The Case of Unemployment


  • Hendrik Jürges


This paper compares current and one-year retrospective data on unemployment in the German SOEP. Thirteen percent of all unemployment spells remain unreported one year later, and another 7 percent are misreported. Individuals with weak labour force attachment, e.g., women with children or individuals close to retirement, have the largest propensity to underreport unemployment retrospectively. The data are consistent with evidence on retrospective bias found by cognitive psychologists and survey methodologists.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik Jürges, 2005. "Retrospective Error in SOEP Calendar Data: The Case of Unemployment," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 157-165.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v125_y2005_i1_q1_p157-165

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Cawley & Markus M. Grabka & Dean R. Lillard, 2005. "A Comparison of the Relationship between Obesity and Earnings in the U.S. and Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 119-129.
    2. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Manzoni & Ruud Luijkx & Ruud Muffels, 2011. "Explaining differences in labour market transitions between panel and life-course data in West-Germany," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 241-261, February.
    2. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:69:y:2017:i:1:p:213-238. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Steffen Müller & Regina T. Riphahn & Caroline Schwientek, 2017. "Paternal unemployment during childhood: causal effects on youth worklessness and educational attainment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 213-238.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access


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