NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Exploring Differences in Employment between Household and Establishment Data

Katharine G. Abraham, John C. Haltiwanger, Kristin Sandusky, James Spletzer

NBER Working Paper No. 14805
Issued in March 2009
NBER Program(s):EFG, LS

Using a large data set that links individual Current Population Survey (CPS) records to employer-reported administrative data, we document substantial discrepancies in basic measures of employment status that persist even after controlling for known definitional differences between the two data sources. We hypothesize that reporting discrepancies should be most prevalent for marginal workers and marginal jobs, and find systematic associations between the incidence of reporting discrepancies and observable person and job characteristics that are consistent with this hypothesis. The paper discusses the implications of the reported findings for both micro and macro labor market analysis.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14805

Published: Katharine G. Abraham & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky & James R. Spletzer, 2013. "Exploring Differences in Employment between Household and Establishment Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages S129 - S172. citation courtesy of

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