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Retrospective Bias in the Displaced Worker Surveys

Author

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  • David S. Evans
  • Linda S. Leighton

Abstract

The Displaced Worker Survey of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics understates the number of workers displaced over the preceding five years covered by the survey by approximately one-third. The bias results from the fact that respondents' memory of displacement erodes over time. Memory loss is not randomly distributed across demographic groups, thereby making analyses based on these survey data suspect. The note reports memory-loss adjusted estimates of the number of displaced workers between 1979 and 1989 based on Displaced Worker Surveys for 1984, 1986, 1988, and 1990.

Suggested Citation

  • David S. Evans & Linda S. Leighton, 1995. "Retrospective Bias in the Displaced Worker Surveys," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 386-396.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:i:2:p:386-396
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    Cited by:

    1. Song, Younghwan, 2007. "Recall bias in the displaced workers survey: Are layoffs really lemons?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 335-345, June.
    2. Oyer, Paul, 2004. "Recall bias among displaced workers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 397-402, March.
    3. Becker, Sebastian & Jahn, Elke, 2015. "Labor Market Signaling and Unemployment Duration: Evidence from Germany," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112981, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Kuhn, Peter & Sweetman, Arthur, 1999. "Vulnerable Seniors: Unions, Tenure, and Wages Following Permanent Job Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 671-693, October.
    5. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg & Pieter A. Gautier & A. Gijsbert C. van Lomwel & Jan C. van Ours & Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "Displaced Workers in the United States and the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-084/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Bohacek, Radim & Myck, Michal, 2017. "Economic Consequences of Political Persecution," IZA Discussion Papers 11136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Robert F. Schoeni & Michael Dardia, 1997. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers in the 1990s," JCPR Working Papers 8, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Art of Labormetrics," NBER Working Papers 6927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Godlonton, Susan & Hernandez, Manuel A. & Murphy, Mike, 2016. "Anchoring bias in recall data: Evidence from Central America:," IFPRI discussion papers 1534, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
    11. Lori G. Kletzer & Robert W. Fairlie, 1999. "The Long-Term Costs of Job Displacement Among Young Workers," JCPR Working Papers 87, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.

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