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The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database

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  • Kenneth R Troske

Abstract

A data set combining information on the characteristics of both workers and their employers has long been a grail for labor economists. The reason for this interest is that while a number of theoretical models in labor economics stress the importance of employer-employee matching in determining labor market outcomes, almost all empirical work relies on either worker surveys with little information about employers or establishment surveys with little information about workers. The Worker-Establishment Characteristic Database (WECD) represents just such an employer-employee-matched database. Containing 199,557 manufacturing workers matched to 16,144 manufacturing establishments, the WECD is the largest worker-firm matched data set available for the U.S. This paper describes how this data set was constructed and assesses the usefulness of these data for economic research. In addition, I discuss some of the issues that can be addressed using employer-employee-matched data and plans for creating future versions of the WECD.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth R Troske, 1995. "The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Working Papers 95-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:95-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
    2. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
    3. Walter Oi, 1983. "The Fixed Employment Costs of Specialized Labor," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Labor Cost, pages 63-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-468, November.
    6. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
    7. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jensen, J Bradford & McGuckin, Robert H, 1997. "Firm Performance and Evolution: Empirical Regularities in the US Microdata," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 25-47.
    2. Sébastien Breau & David L. Rigby, 2010. "International trade and wage inequality in Canada," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 55-86, January.
    3. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2003. "Ethnicity, Language, and Workplace Segregation: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 71-72, pages 1-15.
    4. Donald S. Siegel & Kenneth L. Simons & Tomas Lindstrom, 2005. "Ownership Change, Productivity, and Human Capital: New Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data in Swedish Manufacturing," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0502, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    5. Dunne, Timothy & Haltiwanger, John & Troske, Kenneth R., 1997. "Technology and jobs: secular changes and cyclical dynamics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 107-178, June.
    6. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
    7. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis & Kenneth R. Troske, 2000. "Politiques salariales et performances des entreprises : une comparaison France/États-Unis," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 332(1), pages 27-38.
    8. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2006. "Using Matched Employer–Employee Data to Study Labor Market Discrimination," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Discrimination, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "International Labor Economics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 709-732, October.
    10. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 2003. "Firm Age and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 677-698, July.
    11. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    12. Claudio Piga & Donald S. Siegel, 2003. "New Evidence on the Link between Technological Change and Employment: Extending the Neo-Classical Paradigm," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0303, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    13. Rigby, D L & Breau, Sebastien, 2007. "Impacts of Trade on Wage Quality in Los Angeles: Analysis Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt0fh5z1hf, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    14. Donald S. Siegel & Kenneth L. Simons & Tomas Lindstrom, 2009. "Ownership Change, Productivity, and Human Capital: New Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 397-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-446, July.
    16. 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).
    17. David Rigby & Sebastien Breau, 2006. "Impacts of Trade on Wage Inequality in Los Angeles: Analysis Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 06-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    18. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N. & Troske, Kenneth R., 2001. "The Relative Importance of Employer and Employee Effects on Compensation: A Comparison of France and the United States," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 419-436, December.
    19. Sébastien Breau & David L. Rigby, 2006. "Is There Really an Export Wage Premium? A Case Study of Los Angeles Using Matched Employee-Employer Data," Working Papers 06-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    20. Kenneth R. Troske & Kimberly Bayard, 1999. "Examining the Employer-Size Wage Premium in the Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Service Industries Using Employer-Employee Matched Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 99-103, May.
    21. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2629-2710 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Merkuryeva, Irina S. & Paramonova, Elena N. & Bitina, Julia M. & Gilchenok, Veronika L., 2006. "Economic analysis based on matched employer-employee data: Methodology of data collection and research," Working Papers 805, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.

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    Keywords

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

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