NBER Working Papers by Seth Sanders

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Working Papers

July 2017The Methuselah Effect: The Pernicious Impact of Unreported Deaths on Old Age Mortality Estimates
with Dan A. Black, Yu-Chieh Hsu, Lynne Steuerle Schofield, Lowell J. Taylor: w23574
We examine inferences about old age mortality that arise when researchers use survey data matched to death records. We show that even small rates of failure to match respondents can lead to substantial bias in the measurement of mortality rates at older ages. This type of measurement error is consequential for three strands in the demographic literature: (1) the deceleration in mortality rates at old ages, (2) the black-white mortality crossover, and (3) the relatively low rate of old age mortality among Hispanics—often called the “Hispanic paradox.” Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Older Men (NLS-OM) matched to death records in both the U.S. Vital Statistics system and the Social Security Death Index, we demonstrate that even small rates of missing mortality matching plausibly l...
November 2010Workplace Concentration of Immigrants
with Fredrik Andersson, Mónica García-Pérez, John C. Haltiwanger, Kristin McCue: w16544
To what extent do immigrants and the native-born work in separate workplaces? Do worker and firm characteristics explain the degree of workplace concentration? We explore these questions using a matched employer-employee database that extensively covers employers in selected MSAs. We find that immigrants are much more likely to have immigrant coworkers than are natives, and are particularly likely to work with their compatriots. We find much higher levels of concentration for small businesses than for large ones, that concentration varies substantially across industries, and that concentration is particularly high among immigrants with limited English skills. We also find evidence that neighborhood job networks are strongly positively associated with concentration. The effects of networks ...

Published: Fredrik Andersson & Mónica García-Pérez & John Haltiwanger & Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2014. "Workplace Concentration of Immigrants," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(6), pages 2281-2306, December. citation courtesy of

August 2010An Economic Model of Amniocentesis Choice
with Eduardo Fajnzylber, V. Joseph Hotz: w16306
Medical practitioners typically utilize the following protocol when advising pregnant women about testing for the possibility of genetic disorders: Pregnant women over the age of 35 should be tested for Down syndrome and other genetic disorders; for younger women, such tests are discouraged since they can cause a miscarriage. The logic appears compelling. The rate at which amniocentesis causes a miscarriage is constant while genetic disorders rise over a woman's reproductive years. Hence the potential benefit from testing - being able to terminate a fetus with a genetic disorder - rises with maternal age. We argue that this logic is incomplete. While the benefits to testing rise with age, so do the costs. While undergoing an amniocentesis always entails the risk of miscarriage of a healthy...

Published: “ An Economic Model of Amniocentesis Choice , ” (with Eduardo Fajnzylber and Seth G. San d- ers), Advances in Life Course Research , 15 (1), March 2010, 11 - 26.

February 2002Monitoring, Motivation and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment
with Daniel Nagin, James Rebitzer, Lowell Taylor: w8811
Economic models of incentives in employment relationships are based on a specific theory of motivation. Employees are 'rational cheaters,' who anticipate the consequences of their actions and shirk when the perceived marginal benefit exceeds the marginal cost. Managers respond to this decision calculus by implementing monitoring and incentive pay practices that lessen the attraction of shirking. This 'rational cheater model' is not the only model of opportunistic behavior, and indeed is viewed skeptically by human resource practitioners and by many non-economists who study employment relationships. We investigate the 'rational cheater model' using data from a double-blind field experiment that allows us to observe the effect of experimentally-induced variations in monitoring on employee op...

Published: Daniel S. Nagin & James B. Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 850-873, September. citation courtesy of

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