EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults

Richard Burkhauser (), Shuaizhang Feng () and Stephen Jenkins ()

No 2839, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: The March Current Population Survey (CPS) is the primary data source for estimation of levels and trends in labor earnings and income inequality in the USA. Time-inconsistency problems related to top coding in theses data have led many researchers to use the ratio of the 90th and 10th percentiles of these distributions (P90/P10) rather than a more traditional summary measure of inequality. With access to public use and restricted-access internal CPS data, and bounding methods, we show that using P90/P10 does not completely obviate time-inconsistency problems, especially for household income inequality trends. Using internal data, we create consistent cell mean values for all top-coded public use values that, when used with public use data, closely track inequality trends in labor earnings and household income using internal data. But estimates of longer-term inequality trends with these corrected data based on P90/P10 differ from those based on the Gini coefficient. The choice of inequality measure matters.

Keywords: Current Population Survey; income; decile ratio; Gini coefficient; earnings; inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D3 J3 C8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2007-06
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Review of Income and Wealth, 2009, 55 (1), 166–185

Downloads: (external link)
http://ftp.iza.org/dp2839.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: USING THE P90/P10 INDEX TO MEASURE U.S. INEQUALITY TRENDS WITH CURRENT POPULATION SURVEY DATA: A VIEW FROM INSIDE THE CENSUS BUREAU VAULTS (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure U.S. Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View From Inside the Census Bureau Vaults (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Using the P90/P10 index to measure US inquality trends with current population survey data: a view from inside the Census Bureau vaults (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Using the P90/P10 Index to Measure US Inequality Trends with Current Population Survey Data: A View from Inside the Census Bureau Vaults* (2007) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2839

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2020-09-20
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2839