IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/02-12.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Mis-Measurement of Permanent Earnings: New Evidence from Social Security Earnings Data

Author

Listed:
  • Bhashkar Mazumder

Abstract

This study investigates the reliability of using short-term averages of earnings as a proxy for permanent earnings in empirical research. An earnings dynamics model is estimated on a large sample of men covering the period from 1983 to 1997 following the cohort-based methodology of Baker and Solon (1999). The analysis uses a unique dataset that matches men in the 1984, 1990 and 1996 Surveys of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to the Social Security Administration’s Summary Earnings Records (SER). The results confirm that using a short-term average of earnings can lead to spurious estimates of the effect of lifetime earnings on a particular outcome. In addition, the transitory variance appears to vary considerably over the lifecycle. The share of earnings variance due to transitory factors is higher among blacks and the persistence of transitory shocks appears to be greater for this group as well. Finally, the transitory variance appears to be a more important factor in explaining the overall earnings variance of college educated men than those without college.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhashkar Mazumder, 2002. "The Mis-Measurement of Permanent Earnings: New Evidence from Social Security Earnings Data," Working Papers 02-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-12
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2002/CES-WP-02-12.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
    2. Grawe, Nathan D., 2003. "Life Cycle Bias in the Estimation of Intergenerational Earnings Persistence," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003207e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1999. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 504-533.
    4. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2001. "Earnings mobility in the US: a new look at intergenerational inequality," Working Paper Series WP-01-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Altonji, Joseph G & Segal, Lewis M, 1996. "Small-Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 353-366, July.
    6. 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.
    7. David Card, 1990. "Intertemporal Labor Supply: An Assessment," Working Papers 649, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-445, March.
    9. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
    10. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
    11. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
    12. Clark, Todd E, 1996. "Small-Sample Properties of Estimators of Nonlinear Models of Covariance Structure," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, pages 367-373.
    13. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Human Capital, Technology, and the Wage Structure: What Do Time Series Show?," NBER Working Papers 3581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
    2. Jesse Rothstein & Nathan Wozny, 2013. "Permanent Income and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 510-544.
    3. Brenner, Jan, 2010. "Life-cycle variations in the association between current and lifetime earnings: Evidence for German natives and guest workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 392-406, April.
    4. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Country, Cohort and Gender Comparisons," Working Paper Series 4/2005, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    5. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
    6. Corak, Miles & Lindquist, Matthew J. & Mazumder, Bhashkar, 2014. "A comparison of upward and downward intergenerational mobility in Canada, Sweden and the United States," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 185-200.
    7. Maury Gittleman & Edward N. Wolff, 2004. "Racial Differences in Patterns of Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    8. Bhashkar Mazumder & Jonathan Davis, 2011. "Parental Earnings and Children's Well-Being and Future Success: An Analysis of the SIPP Matched to SSA Earnings Data," Working Papers 11-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Vaage, Kjell & Aakvik, Arild & Jacobsen, Karl, 2008. "Estimates of Intergenerational Elasticities Based on Lifetime Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3709, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Erica Coates). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.