Validating U.S. Earnings Mobility Measures
Dragoset, Lisa M.; Fields, Gary S.
Earnings mobility has been studied at both the macro level (the amount of mobility in an economy) and the micro level (the correlates of individuals’ income changes). While measurement error is recognized as potentially important at both these levels, very little is known about the degree to which earnings mobility estimates are affected by measurement error. We compare micro and macro earnings mobility estimates for the U.S. during the 1990s using both survey-based earnings and administrative-based earnings. We find that measurement error in survey-based earnings has little qualitative effect on mobility estimates, but often has a large quantitative effect.
earnings; mobility; measurements; census; survey
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