Trends in the Relative Household Income of Working-Age Men with Work Limitations: Correcting the Record Using Internal Current Population Survey Data
Previous research measuring the economic well-being of working-age men with work limitations relative to such men without work limitations in the public use March Current Population Survey (CPS) systematically understates the mean household income of both groups; overstates the relative household income of those with work limitations; and understates the decline in their relative household income over time. Using the internal March CPS, we demonstrate this by creating a cell mean series beginning in 1975 that provides the mean reported income of all topcoded persons for each source of income in the public use March CPS data. Using our cell mean series with the public use March CPS, we closely match the yearly mean income of working-age men with and without work limitations over the period 1987-2004 in the internal data and show that this match is superior to ones using alternative methods of correcting for topcoding currently used in the disability literature. We then provide levels and trends in the relative income of working-age men with work limitations from 1980-2006, the earliest year in the March CPS that such comparisons can be made.
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