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Measurement Error in the Current Population Survey: A Nonparametric Look

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  • Bollinger, Christopher R

Abstract

This article utilizes an exact match file between the 1978 March Current Population Survey and administrative records from the Social Security Administration to analyze errors in the reporting of annual income using nonparametric methodology. The article extends work of John Bound and Alan B. Krueger (1991) and the results confirm many of the findings in Bound and Krueger. Three new findings are of interest: there is higher measurement error in cross-sectional samples than in panels; the negative relationship between measurement error and earnings is driven largely by overreporting among low earners; and median response errors are not related to earnings. Copyright 1998 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Bollinger, Christopher R, 1998. "Measurement Error in the Current Population Survey: A Nonparametric Look," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 576-594, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:16:y:1998:i:3:p:576-94
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card, 1991. "The Effect of Unions on the Distribution of Wages: Redistribution or Reliability?," Working Papers 667, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. repec:fth:prinin:287 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Freeman, Richard B, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
    4. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-344, October.
    5. 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 221-229, April.
    6. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-532, October.
    7. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-1338, November.
    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. Greenberg, David & Halsey, Harlan, 1983. "Systematic Misreporting and Effects of Income Maintenance Experiments on Work Effort: Evidence from the Seattle-Denver Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 380-407, October.
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