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Earnings Dynamics and Measurement Error in Matched Survey and Administrative Data

Dean Hyslop () and Wilbur Townsend ()

Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 2020, vol. 38, issue 2, 457-469

Abstract: This article analyzes earnings dynamics and measurement error using a matched longitudinal sample of individuals’ survey and administrative earnings. In line with previous literature, the reported differences are characterized by both persistent and transitory factors. Estimating a model consistent with past results, survey errors are mean-reverting when administrative reports are assumed correct, but not when this assumption is relaxed. Although most reported earnings variation is true, we conclude that measurement errors dominate observed changes, and that transitory earnings contribute little to overall earnings inequality. The results imply the reliability of matched administrative data should be treated with caution.

Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Earnings Dynamics and Measurement Error in Matched Survey and Administrative Data (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/07350015.2018.1514308

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