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Recent Trends in Earnings Volatility: Evidence from Survey and Administrative Data

Author

Listed:
  • Celik Sule

    () (San Francisco State University)

  • Juhn Chinhui

    () (University of Houston and NBER)

  • McCue Kristin

    () (U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Thompson Jesse

    () (Houston Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

Abstract

Recent papers find that earnings volatility is again on the rise (Dynan et al. 2008, and Shin and Solon 2011). Using household survey data—the matched Current Population Surveys and Survey of Income and Program Participation—and the newly available Longitudinal Employment and Household Dynamics administrative dataset, we find that earnings volatility was remarkably stable in the 1990s and through the mid 2000s. This evidence is in contrast to that from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) which registers a sharp increase in the early 2000s. We investigate whether adjusting measures based on our sources to more closely match the characteristics of the PSID can reconcile this divergence in trends, but do not find a clear explanation for the divergence. We also find little evidence of a rise over this period in the components of volatility: volatility among job leavers, volatility among job stayers, and the fraction of workers who are job leavers.

Suggested Citation

  • Celik Sule & Juhn Chinhui & McCue Kristin & Thompson Jesse, 2012. "Recent Trends in Earnings Volatility: Evidence from Survey and Administrative Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-26, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:12:y:2012:i:2:n:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Neumark, David & Polsky, Daniel & Hansen, Daniel, 1999. "Has Job Stability Declined Yet? New Evidence for the 1990s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 29-64, October.
    2. Steven J. Davis, 2008. "The Decline of Job Loss and Why It Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 263-267, May.
    3. Peracchi, Franco & Welch, Finis, 1995. "How representative are matched cross-sections? Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 153-179, July.
    4. Jaeger, David A & Stevens, Ann Huff, 1999. "Is Job Stability in the United States Falling? Reconciling Trends in the Current Population Survey and Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 1-28, October.
    5. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 155-180, Fall.
    6. Brigitte C. Madrian & Lars John Lefgren, 1999. "A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael Baker & Gary Solon, 2003. "Earnings Dynamics and Inequality among Canadian Men, 1976-1992: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Records," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 267-288, April.
    8. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
    9. Robert A. Moffitt & Peter Gottschalk, 2002. "Trends in the Transitory Variance of Earnings in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 68-73, March.
    10. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2013. "Rising Inequality: Transitory or Persistent? New Evidence from a Panel of U.S. Tax Returns," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 67-142.
    2. repec:eee:labeco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:168-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Shin Donggyun, 2012. "Recent Trends in Men's Earnings Volatility: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1985-2009," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-13, October.
    4. Riphahn, Regina T. & Schnitzlein, Daniel D., 2016. "Wage mobility in East and West Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 11-34.
    5. Robert A. Moffitt & Sisi Zhang, 2018. "Income Volatility and the PSID: Past Research and New Results," NBER Working Papers 24390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kyong Hyun Koo, 2016. "The Evolution of Earnings Volatility During and After the Great Recession," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 705-732, October.
    7. Brainard, Lael, 2017. "Why Opportunity and Inclusion Matter to America’s Economic Strength : a speech at the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Conference, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, May 2," Speech 953, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Markus Jäntti & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2013. "Income Mobility," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 607, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Lisa Gennetian & Sharon Wolf & Heather Hill & Pamela Morris, 2015. "Intrayear Household Income Dynamics and Adolescent School Behavior," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 455-483, April.
    10. Hryshko, Dmytro & Juhn, Chinhui & McCue, Kristin, 2014. "Trends in Earnings Inequality and Earnings Instability among U.S. Couples: How Important Is Assortative Matching?," IZA Discussion Papers 8729, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Paula Garda & Volker Ziemann, 2014. "Economic Policies and Microeconomic Stability: A Literature Review and Some Empirics," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1115, OECD Publishing.
    12. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2013. "Earnings and Labour Market Volatility in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 7491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:2:p:312-330 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2014. "Earnings and labour market volatility in Britain, with a transatlantic comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 201-211.
    15. Aaron B. Flaaen & Matthew D. Shapiro & Isaac Sorkin, 2017. "Reconsidering the Consequences of Worker Displacements: Firm versus Worker Perspective," NBER Working Papers 24077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. repec:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/694167 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Chinhui Juhn & Kristin McCue & Holly Monti & Brooks Pierce, 2015. "Firm Performance and the Volatility of Worker Earnings," NBER Chapters,in: Firms and the Distribution of Income: The Roles of Productivity and Luck National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Dynan Karen & Elmendorf Douglas & Sichel Daniel, 2012. "The Evolution of Household Income Volatility," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-42, December.
    19. Robert Moffitt & Sisi Zhang, 2018. "Income Volatility and the PSID: Past Research and New Results," Working Papers 2018-016, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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