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Occupation inflation in the Current Population Survey

Jonathan Fisher and Christina Houseworth

Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 2013, issue 3, 243-261

Abstract: A common caveat often accompanying results relying on household surveys regards respondent error. There is research using administrative data to estimate the extent of error, the correlates of error, and potential corrections for the error. The authors investigate measurement error in occupation classification in the Current Population Survey (CPS) using the panel component of the CPS to identify those who incorrectly report changing occupation. We find evidence that individuals are inflating their occupation to higher skilled and higher paying occupations than the ones they actually perform. Occupation inflation biases the education and race coefficients in standard Mincer equation results within occupations.

Keywords: Measurement error; occupation; mincer equation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C80 J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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