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Using Internal Current Population Survey Data to Reevaluate Trends in Labor Earnings Gaps by Gender, Race, and Education Level

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  • Richard Burkhauser
  • Jeff Larrimore

Abstract

Most empirical studies of trends in labor earnings gaps by gender, race or education level are based on data from the public use March Current Population Survey (CPS). Using the internal March CPS, we show that inconsistent topcoding in the public use data will understate these gaps and inaccurately capture their trends. We create a cell mean series beginning in 1975 that provides the mean of all values above the topcode for each income source in the public use March CPS and better approximate earnings gaps found in the internal March CPS than was previously possible using publically available data.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2008. "Using Internal Current Population Survey Data to Reevaluate Trends in Labor Earnings Gaps by Gender, Race, and Education Level," Working Papers 08-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:08-18
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2008/CES-WP-08-18.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard Burkhauser & Jeff Larrimore, 2008. "Trends in the Relative Household Income of Working-Age Men with Work Limitations: Correcting the Record Using Internal Current Population Survey Data," Working Papers 08-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Kenneth Couch, 2002. "Black-White Wage Inequality in the 1990s: a Decade of Progress," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 31-41, January.
    3. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    4. Jeff Larrimore & Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Laura Zayatz, 2008. "Consistent Cell Means for Topcoded Incomes in the Public Use March CPS (1976-2007)," NBER Working Papers 13941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    6. Chinhui Juhn, 2003. "Labor Market Dropouts and Trends in the Wages of Black and White Men," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 643-662, July.
    7. Feng, Shuaizhang & Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J.S., 2006. "Levels and Long-Term Trends in Earnings Inequality: Overcoming Current Population Survey Censoring Problems Using the GB2 Distribution," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 57-62, January.
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