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Occupation Inflation in the Current Population Survey

Jonathan Fisher and Christina Houseworth

Working Papers from U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies

Abstract: A common caveat often accompanying results relying on household surveys regards respondent error. There is research using independent, presumably error-free administrative data, to estimate the extent of error in the data, the correlates of error, and potential corrections for the error. We investigate measurement error in occupation in the Current Population Survey (CPS) using the panel component of the CPS to identify those that 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.

Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2012-09
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Downloads: (external link) First version, 2012 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Occupation inflation in the Current Population Survey (2013)
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