IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Measurement Error in Earnings Data in the Health and Retirement Study

  • Jesse Bricker
  • Gary V. Engelhardt

    (Center for Retirement Research, Boston College)

Registered author(s):

    We provide new evidence on the extent of measurement error in respondent-reported earnings data by exploiting detailed W-2 records matched to older workers in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Our empirical findings are qualitatively consistent with the findings of previous studies. Mean measurement error in the 1991 HRS earnings data for men is somewhat larger than what has been found in other validation studies, but is still modest, averaging about 0.059 log points, approximately 5.9 percent, or $1,500. For women in 1991, it is 0.067 log points, approximately 6.7 percent, or $916. We find a negative correlation between the measurement error and the true value of earnings as measured by the W-2 records, which indicates the presence of non-classical measurement error. For men and women, this error shows little correlation with a standard set of cross-sectional earnings determinants. The one exception is that the measurement error rises with reported education. The bias on the OLS parameter estimate of the impact of having a college degree or higher (relative to a high school drop-out) from using the respondent-reported rather than the W-2 earnings is positive and estimated to be 0.071 log points, or roughly a bias of 7 percent.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/measurement-error-in-earnings-data-in-the-health-and-retirement-study/
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2007-16.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2007
    Date of revision: Oct 2007
    Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-16
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Hovey House, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
    Phone: (617) 552-1762
    Fax: (617) 552-0191
    Web page: http://crr.bc.edu/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2000. "Non Random Selection in the HRS Social Security Earnings Sample," Working Papers 00-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    2. Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2006. "Persistence in Labor Supply and the Response to the Social Security Earnings Test," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-27, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2006.
    3. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1993. "How important is precautionary saving?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 145, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bollinger, Christopher R, 1998. "Measurement Error in the Current Population Survey: A Nonparametric Look," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 576-94, July.
    6. Cunningham, Christopher R. & Engelhardt, Gary V., 2002. "Federal Tax Policy, Employer Matching, and 401(k) Saving: Evidence from HRS W-2 Records," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(3), pages 617-45, September.
    7. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Richard Disney & Sarah Smith, 2002. "The Labour Supply Effect of the Abolition of the Earnings Rule for Older Workers in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C136-C152, March.
    9. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
    10. Gruber, Jonathan & Orszag, Peter, 2003. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 755-73, December.
    11. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998. "Consumption Inequality And Income Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640, May.
    12. Gary V. Engelhardt & Anil Kumar, 2007. "The Repeal of the Retirement Earnings Test and the Labor Supply of Older Men," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-01, Center for Retirement Research, revised May 2007.
    13. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
    14. 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.
    15. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," NBER Working Papers 7235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Jonathan Gruber & Peter Orszag, 2000. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," NBER Working Papers 7923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Arie Kapteyn & Jelmer Y. Ypma, 2007. "Measurement Error and Misclassification: A Comparison of Survey and Administrative Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 513-551.
    18. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
    19. Leora Friedberg, 1999. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," NBER Working Papers 7200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," Working Papers 798, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    21. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-32, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-16. 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: (Amy Grzybowski)

    or (Christopher F Baum)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.