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Exploring Differences in Employment between Household and Establishment Data

  • Katharine Abraham
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Kristin Sandusky
  • James Spletzer

Using a large data set that links individual Current Population Survey (CPS) records to employer-reported administrative data, we document substantial discrepancies in basic measures of employment status that persist even after controlling for known definitional differences between the two data sources. We hypothesize that reporting discrepancies should be most prevalent for marginal workers and marginal jobs, and find systematic associations between the incidence of reporting discrepancies and observable person and job characteristics that are consistent with this hypothesis. The paper discusses the implications of the reported findings for both micro and macro labor market analysis

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2009/CES-WP-09-09.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 09-09.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:09-09
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  1. John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane & James Spletzer, 2000. "Wages, Productivity, and the Dynamic Interaction of Businesses and Workers," NBER Working Papers 7994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John M. Abowd & Kevin L. McKinney & Lars Vilhuber, 2009. "The Link between Human Capital, Mass Layoffs, and Firm Deaths," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 447-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Brown, Clair & Haltiwanger, John & Lane, Julia, 2006. "Economic Turbulence," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226076324, March.
  5. Marc Roemer, 2002. "Using Administrative Earnings Records to Assess Wage Data Quality in the March Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. V. J. Hotz & J. K. Scholz, . "Measuring Employment and Income for Low-Income Populations with Administrative and Survey Data," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1224-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. Schoeni, R-F & Dardia, M, 1996. "Wage Losses of Displaced Workers in the 1990s," Papers 96-14, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  8. David W. Stevens, 2007. "Employment that is not covered by state unemployment insurance Laws," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2007-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Chinhui Juhn & Simon Potter, 1999. "Explaining the recent divergence in payroll and household employment growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Dec).
  10. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-44, October.
  11. Peter Z. Schochet & John Burghardt & Sheena McConnell, 2008. "Does Job Corps Work? Impact Findings from the National Job Corps Study," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5067e4907eba4a4881f510080, Mathematica Policy Research.
  12. Blakemore, Arthur E, et al, 1996. "Employer Tax Evasion in the Unemployment Insurance Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 210-30, April.
  13. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  14. 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.
  15. Kornfeld, Robert & Bloom, Howard S, 1999. "Measuring Program Impacts on Earnings and Employment: Do Unemployment Insurance Wage Reports from Employers Agree with Surveys of Individuals?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 168-97, January.
  16. Peter Z. Schochet & John Burghardt & Sheena McConnell, 2008. "Does Job Corps Work? Impact Findings from the National Job Corps Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1864-86, December.
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