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The Sensitivity of Economic Statistics to Coding Errors in Personal Identifiers

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  • John M. Abowd
  • Lars Vilhuber

Abstract

In this paper, we describe the sensitivity of small-cell flow statistics to coding errors in the identity of the underlying entities. Specifically, we present results based on a comparison of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) before and after correcting for such errors in SSN-based identifiers in the underlying individual wage records. The correction used involves a novel application of existing statistical matching techniques. It is found that even a very conservative correction procedure has a sizable impact on the statistics. The average bias ranges from 0.25 percent up to 15 percent for flow statistics, and up to 5 percent for payroll aggregates.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Abowd & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "The Sensitivity of Economic Statistics to Coding Errors in Personal Identifiers," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:tpaper:2002-17
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/tp/tp-2002-17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 2000. "Job Flows, Worker Flows, and Churning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 473-502, July.
    2. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    4. Audra Bowlus & Lars Vilhuber, 2001. "Displaced Workers, Early Leavers, and Re-employment Wages," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20015, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    5. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
    6. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "The Creation of the Employment Dynamics Estimates," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ted Mouw, 2016. "The Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Native Workers: Evidence using Longitudinal Data from the LEHD," Working Papers 16-56, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Till von Wachter & Elizabeth Handwerker & Andrew Hildreth, 2009. "Estimating the "True" Cost of Job Loss: Evidence Using Matched Data from Califormia 1991-2000," Working Papers 09-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. John Abowd & Martha Stinson, 2011. "Estimating Measurement Error in SIPP Annual Job Earnings: A Comparison of Census Bureau Survey and SSA Administrative Data," Working Papers 11-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Abowd, John M. & Vilhuber, Lars, 2011. "National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the Quarterly Workforce Indicators with demographic and industry detail," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 82-99, March.
    5. Audra Bowlus & Lars Vilhuber, 2001. "Displaced Workers, Early Leavers, and Re-employment Wages," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20015, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    6. Tanja Hethey-Maier & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2013. "Does the Use of Worker Flows Improve the Analysis of Establishment Turnover? Evidence from German Administrative Data," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(4), pages 477-510.
    7. Kevin L. McKinney & Andrew S. Green & Lars Vilhuber & John M. Abowd, 2017. "Total Error and Variability Measures with Integrated Disclosure Limitation for Quarterly Workforce Indicators and LEHD Origin Destination Employment Statistics in On The Map," Working Papers 17-71, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. John J. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 224-229, May.
    9. Elizabeth Wilde, 2008. "Do Response Times Matter? The Impact of EMS Response Times on Health Outcomes," Working Papers 1065, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Arie Kapteyn & Jelmer Y. Ypma, 2007. "Measurement Error and Misclassification: A Comparison of Survey and Administrative Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 513-551.
    11. John M. Abowd & Bryce E. Stephens & Lars Vilhuber & Fredrik Andersson & Kevin L. McKinney & Marc Roemer & Simon Woodcock, 2009. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 149-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Abowd, John M. & Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia & McKinney, Kevin Lee & Sandusky, L. Kristin, 2007. "Technology and the Demand for Skill: An Analysis of Within and Between Firm Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 2707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Fredrik Andersson & Harry J. Holzer & Julia Lane, 2009. "Temporary Help Agencies and the Advancement Prospects of Low Earners," NBER Chapters,in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 373-398 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Hethey, Tanja & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2010. "Using worker flows in the analysis of establishment turnover : evidence from German administrative data," FDZ Methodenreport 201006_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    15. Kevin McKinney & Lars Vilhuber, 2006. "Using linked employer-employee data to investigate the speed of adjustments in downsizing firms," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2006-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    16. Bassanini, Andrea & Marianna, Pascal, 2009. "Looking Inside the Perpetual-Motion Machine: Job and Worker Flows in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 4452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Elizabeth Wilde, 2008. "Do Response Times Matter? The Impact of EMS Response Times on Health Outcomes," Working Papers 1065, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    18. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 2014. "Labor Market Fluidity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 20479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Martha Bailey & Connor Cole & Morgan Henderson & Catherine Massey, 2017. "How Well Do Automated Methods Perform in Historical Samples? Evidence from New Ground Truth," NBER Working Papers 24019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.

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