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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

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  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Shuaizhang Feng
  • Jeff Larrimore

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Jeff Larrimore, 2008. "Measuring Labor Earnings Inequality using Public-Use March Current Population Survey Data: The Value of Including Variances and Cell Means When Imputing Topcoded Values," NBER Working Papers 14458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14458 Note: LS PE TWP
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, March.
    2. 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.
    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 410-442, 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 123-127, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Burkhauser, Richard V. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Larrimore, Jeff, 2009. "Measuring inequality using censored data: a multiple imputation approach," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-04, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Larrimore, Jeff, 2010. "Improving imputations of top incomes in the public-use current population survey by using both cell-means and variances," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 69-72, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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