TY - JOUR AU - Madrian,Brigitte C. AU - Lefgren,Lars John TI - A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents JF - National Bureau of Economic Research Technical Working Paper Series VL - No. 247 PY - 1999 Y2 - November 1999 UR - http://www.nber.org/papers/t0247 L1 - http://www.nber.org/papers/t0247.pdf N1 - Author contact info: Brigitte C. Madrian John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University 79 JFK Street Cambridge, MA 02138 Tel: 617-495-8917 Fax: 617-496-5960 E-Mail: Brigitte_Madrian@Harvard.edu Lars Lefgren Department of Economics Brigham Young University 130 Faculty Office Bulding Provo, UT 84602-2363 Tel: (801) 422-5169 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org AB - In this paper, we propose an approach for evaluating the trade-offs inherent in different approaches used to match Current Population Survey (CPS) respondents across various CPS surveys. Because there is some measurement error in both the variables used to identify individuals over time and in the characteristics of individuals at any point in time, any procedure used to match CPS respondents has the possibility of both generating incorrect matches and failing to generate potentially valid matches. We propose using the information contained in the variable on whether an individual lived in the same house on March 1 of the previous year as a way to gauge these trade-offs. We find that as measured by reported residence one year ago, increasing the fraction of 'invalid' merges that are rejected usually comes at a cost of decreasing the fraction of 'valid' merges that are retained. However, there are clearly some approaches that are superior to others in the sense that they result in both a higher fraction of 'invalid' merges being rejected and a higher fraction of 'valid' merges being retained.
The programs to implement CPS matching across years in this paper are available . ER -