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A comparison of earnings measures from longitudinal and cross‐sectional surveys: evidence from the UK

  • Marco Francesconi
  • Holly Sutherland
  • Francesca Zantomio

This paper compares earnings data from the BHPS with those collected in the FRS, contrasting two different points in time (1995/96 and 2003/04), allowing us to assess the possible extent of differential attrition in the BHPS data. We perform non-parametric tests of equality at the centre of the distributions and over the whole earnings distributions. We then apply multivariate regression methods to establish whether the earnings data yield different results in relation to three typical uses of earnings data. The two surveys have fairly similar earnings data in the first comparison year, while sizable differences emerge in the later comparison. This finding suggests the important role played by attrition and ‘vintage’ effects.

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Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Volume (Year): 174 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 297-326

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:174:y:2011:i:2:p:297-326
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  1. Stewart, Mark B., 2002. "The Impact Of The Introduction Of The Uk Minimum Wage On The Employment Probabilities Of Low Wage Workers," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 630, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Nicholas Barr & Peter Diamond, 2006. "The Economics of Pensions," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 15-39, Spring.
  3. Mathiowetz, Nancy A & Duncan, Greg J, 1988. "Out of Work, Out of Mind: Response Errors in Retrospective Reports of Unemployment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(2), pages 221-29, April.
  4. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2008. "Estimating low pay transition probabilities accounting for endogenous selection mechanisms," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 57(2), pages 165-186.
  5. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1996. "What Are Occupational Pension Plan Entitlements Worth in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 213-38, May.
  6. John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2010. "How reliable are income data collected with a single question?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(2), pages 409-429.
  7. James Banks & Sarah Smith, 2006. "Retirement in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 40-56, Spring.
  8. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Educational Choice, Families, and Young People's Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-176.
  9. Sutherland, Holly & Piachaud, David, 2001. "Reducing Child Poverty in Britain: An Assessment of Government Policy 1997-2001," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages F85-101, February.
  10. Richard Blundell & Mike Brewer & Marco Francesconi, 2008. "Job Changes and Hours Changes: Understanding the Path of Labor Supply Adjustment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 421-453, 07.
  11. Giorgina Brown & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf & Robert Waldmann, 2007. "International surveys of educational achievement: how robust are the findings?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(3), pages 623-646.
  12. Dayal N & Gomulka J & Mitton L & Sutherland H, 2000. "Enhancing Family Resources Survey income data with expenditure data from the Family Expenditure Survey: data comparisons," Microsimulation Unit Research Notes MU/RN/40, Microsimulation Unit at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  13. Lumsdaine, Robin L. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "New developments in the economic analysis of retirement," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 49, pages 3261-3307 Elsevier.
  14. Marco Francesconi, 2005. "An evaluation of the childhood family structure measures from the sixth wave of the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 539-566.
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