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Measuring Labor Earnings Inequality using Public-Use March Current Population Survey Data: The Value of Including Variances and Cell Means When Imputing Topcoded Values

  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Shuaizhang Feng
  • Jeff Larrimore

Using the Census Bureau's internal March Current Population Surveys (CPS) file, we construct and make available variances and cell means for all topcoded income values in the public-use version of these data. We then provide a procedure that allows researchers with access only to the public-use March CPS data to take advantage of this added information when imputing its topcoded income values. As an example of its value we show how our new procedure improves on existing imputation methods in the labor earnings inequality literature.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14458.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14458
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2007. "Using the P90/P10 index to measure US inquality trends with current population survey data: a view from inside the Census Bureau vaults," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-14, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  2. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2009. "Using The P90-P10 Index To Measure U.S. Inequality Trends With Current Population Survey Data: A View From Inside The Census Bureau Vaults," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 166-185, 03.
  3. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  4. Bishop, John A & Chiou, Jong-Rong & Formby, John P, 1994. "Truncation Bias and the Ordinal Evaluation of Income Inequality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(1), pages 123-27, January.
  5. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
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