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Estimating Measurement Error in Annual Job Earnings: A Comparison of Survey and Administrative Data

Author

Listed:
  • John M. Abowd

    (Cornell University, Census Bureau NBER, CREST/INSEE, and IZA)

  • Martha H. Stinson

    (U.S. Census Bureau)

Abstract

We propose a new methodology that does not assume a prior specification of the statistical properties of the measurement errors and treats all sources as noisy measures of some underlying true value. The unobservable true value can be represented as a weighted average of all available measures, using weights that must be specified a priori unless there has been a truth audit. The Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) survey jobs are linked to Social Security Administration earnings data, creating two potential annual earnings observations. The reliability statistics for both sources are quite similar except for cases where the SIPP used imputations for some missing monthly earnings reports. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Abowd & Martha H. Stinson, 2013. "Estimating Measurement Error in Annual Job Earnings: A Comparison of Survey and Administrative Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1451-1467, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:5:p:1451-1467
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Jäntti & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2013. "Income Mobility," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 607, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Bruce D. Meyer & Nikolas Mittag, 2015. "Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness and Holes in the Safety Net," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-242, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. Andrew S. Green, 2017. "Hours Off the Clock," Working Papers 17-44, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. repec:eee:ecolet:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:19-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Meyer, Bruce D. & Mittag, Nikolas, 2017. "Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness and Holes in the Safety Net," IZA Discussion Papers 10943, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2017. "Measurement error of global production," ISS Working Papers - General Series 632, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    8. Paulus, Alari, 2015. "Tax evasion and measurement error: An econometric analysis of survey data linked with tax records," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    9. Whitaker, Stephan, 2015. "Big Data versus a Survey," Working Paper 1440, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    10. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2015. "Household Surveys in Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 199-226, Fall.
    11. Mittag, Nikolas, 2016. "Correcting for Misreporting of Government Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 10266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Dean Hyslop & Wilbur Townsend, 2016. "Earnings Dynamics and Measurement Error in Matched Survey and Administrative Data," Working Papers 16_18, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    13. Dieter Vandelannoote & André Decoster & Toon Vanheukelom & Gerlinde Verbist, 2016. "Evaluating The Quality Of Gross Incomes In SILC: Compare Them With Fiscal Data And Re-calibrate Them Using EUROMOD," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 9(3), pages 5-34.
    14. Bruce Meyer & Nikolas Mittag, 2017. "Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness and Holes in the Safety Net," Working Papers 2017-075, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. 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.
    16. Hyslop, Dean R. & Townsend, Wilbur, 2017. "Employment misclassification in survey and administrative reports," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 19-23.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    measurement error; earnings; matched survey-administrative data; linear mixed-effects model;

    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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