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Using worker flows in the analysis of establishment turnover : evidence from German administrative data

Author

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  • Hethey, Tanja

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Schmieder, Johannes F.

Abstract

"Economists have long been interested in the determinants and components of job creation and destruction. In many countries administrative datasets provide an excellent source for detailed analysis on a fine and disaggregate level. However, administrative datasets are not without problems: restructuring and relabeling of firms is often poorly measured and can potentially create large biases. We provide evidence of the extent of this bias and provide a new solution to deal with it using the German Establishment History Panel (BHP). While previous research has relied on the first and last appearance of the establishment identifier (EID) to identify openings and closings, we improve on this approach using a new dataset containing all worker flows between establishments in Germany. This allows us to credibly identify establishment births and deaths from 1975 to 2004. We show that the misclassification bias of using only the EID is very severe: Only about 35 to 40 percent of new and disappearing EIDs with more than 3 employees correspond unambiguously to real establishment entries and exits. Among larger establishments misclassification is even more common. We show that many new establishment IDs appear to be 'Spin-Offs' and these have become increasingly more common over time. We then demonstrate that using only EID entries and exits may dramatically overstate, by as much as 100 percent, the role of establishment turnover for job creation and destruction. Furthermore correcting job creation and destruction measures for spurious EID entries and exits reduces these measures and aligns them closer with the business cycle." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Hethey, Tanja & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2010. "Using worker flows in the analysis of establishment turnover : evidence from German administrative data," FDZ Methodenreport 201006_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabfme:201006_en
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    File URL: http://doku.iab.de/fdz/reporte/2010/MR_06-10-EN.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lars Vilhuber, 2009. "Adjusting Imperfect Data: Overview and Case Studies," NBER Chapters,in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 59-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    3. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
    4. Schmieder, Johannes F. & Wachter, Till von & Bender, Stefan, 2010. "The long-term impact of job displacement in Germany during the 1982 recession on earnings, income, and employment," IAB Discussion Paper 201001, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
    6. Baldwin, John R. & Beckstead, Desmond & Girard, Andree, 2002. "The Importance of Entry to Canadian Manufacturing with an Appendix on Measurement Issues," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002189e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Abowd, John M. & Vilhuber, Lars, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Economic Statistics to Coding Errors in Personal Identifiers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 133-152, April.
    8. Benedetto, Gary & Haltiwanger, John & Lane, Julia & McKinney, Kevin, 2007. "Using Worker Flows to Measure Firm Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 299-313, July.
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